About dmA Planning & Management Services

dmA Planning & Management Services is a consulting firm that specializes in recreation, library and municipal strategic planning. We work with municipalities, library boards, YMCA’s, and community agencies on master plans, feasibility studies, strategic plans, business plans, organizational assessments, and policy reviews. Our belief in the benefits of recreation and library services to individuals, communities, businesses, and the broader society is the foundation of our consulting practice.

Raise Recreation, Parks Fees: Report







Report on report. City of Mississauga officials and dmA Planning & Management representatives presented their draft Pricing Study report for proposed changes to fees for recreations programs and services last night at Noel Ryan Auditorium. Here, Wendy Donovan, a principal at dmA Planning & Management, explains why the study. Staff photo by Julia Le

Mississauga residents might soon be paying more to access the City’s recreation programs and services.  Residents could see an average increase of 3.7 per cent in user fees if City Council approves a report created by City of Mississauga officials and consultants from dmA Planning & Management.
At a meeting last night held at the Central Library to get public input on proposed changes to fees, residents were told by Wendy Donovan, who was representing dmA Planning & Management, that the cost of running recreation programs — aquatics, arenas, community programs, fitness, active living programs, golf, meeting rooms and sports fields — is rising far more quickly than the revenue the City receives from users.  
Those in attendance were also presented with 24 recommendations that included replacing current, inconsistent pricing with a single 20 per cent discount for older adults, people with disabilities, students and youth, and having a more uniform price for membership fees, drop-in programs and meeting room rates.
Donovan told attendees that the recommendations come from a hard look at the current rates and program categories, best practices of other municipalities and financial data.

In the past, the City updated its fees by adding a routine, annual percentage to cover inflation. However, Donovan says, in order to maintain community access to programs, the City needs to look at simplifying and streamlining its pricing.  The City has been working with the consultants at the request of City Council.
The Pricing Study Report suggests ways to balance fees and taxes and affordability, while taking into account the city’s demographics and the needs of residents.
“There are segments of society in every community that need help,” said Donovan. “Whether they’re people on disability, people who receive some type of social assistance, young people who are just starting out in life and have mortgages and children and have not reached the top of their earning capacity, (they) have a greater need for financial support and there are beliefs in those communities that there should be mechanisms to provide that financial support.”
The City’s manager of business planning Derek Boyce adds the fees take into account clients’ ability to pay and the study allows the City to better anticipate market trends to make adjustments to program and service choices.

Also among the report’s recommendations is consolidating fees for similar programs and services. That will reduce 256 unique fees to 34 hourly fees.
Boyce said the public meetings are meant to educate the public and cover areas they may have missed. He said they’re rationalizing a price that is more “equitable for all users, but having said that we’ll see some users that will see some significant increases and we’re going to work with those groups in January and February to talk about some of the issues, see where they are and that consultation will guide what we ultimately recommend to Council.”  
In January and February, officials will meet with sports groups to get their feedback.
If approved by Council, the recommendations will be implemented next year and in 2013.
For more information, visit www.mississauga.ca/pricingstudy or call 905-615-3200, ext. 4773.


Zoom Zoomers!

Other recreational, informational, and lifestyle lessons our Office Puppy is teaching us…In the last few years more and more of dmA’s projects have had a focus or a component dealing with older adults. More specifically that group we now call Zoomers – Baby Boomers with Zip I guess! Yours truly – the Donovan and Morgenstern in dmA (yes for all those who wonder what the d and the m stand for it is Donovan and Morgenstern – the underlined m a story for another day) are Zoomers – born between 1947 and 1962 in Canada – years when double the normal number of children were born in most western countries.

Baby Boomers affected everything they passed through – elementary schools – there weren’t enough; recreation programs – there were hardly any; universities – also not enough spaces, particularly when those Baby Boomer women decided they would go too! And then they all had children and the huge number of Baby Boomers of course wanted good schools and quality recreation for their offspring – girls as well as boys. Now the Baby Boomers are retiring and what will that transition mean for society.

As we have shared with some of our clients, on average Baby Boomers have more disposable income than any generation before or perhaps after them. The “senior” discounts we believe should be a thing of the past if they are provided on the assumption that older adults – at least those who are just reaching their normal retirement age – have less money. That will we know be a difficult battle for many communities but it is a fact.

On a lighter note Zoomers (who do not like the term older adult or senior btw) apparently consider themselves maybe entering middle age, and show all the signs of fighting the aging process. They will do that by continuing to work for pay – but on their terms, doing what it takes to stay healthy and active, and yes maybe a second family – even if this time it is a furry little beast.

It has been many years since the d and the m got up with a young baby but Tommy reintroduced us to that joy this summer. He forces us to keep up – with our reading of books about him, our reading of his sometimes obscure signals, his antics, his energy. He has made us feel young and old sometimes in the same hour. But he is a new experience and a wonderful source of amazement and amusement. He is life and that is what it is all about being a Zoomer.

Oh, Tommy Boy!

Tommy II - The Super Office Puppy!

Tommy II - The Super Office Puppy!

Welcome to two of dmA’s new additions – our Blog and our Office Puppy – Tommy.

Both give us an opportunity to share some “leisurely” thoughts on all things recreation, lifestyle, and information, for that is what dmA is all about – recreation, libraries, and healthy lifestyles.

But I digress; there is a link between our Office Puppy and something very close to any recreationist’s heart – the value of active participation in sport and recreation. And what you ask does that have to do with an Office Puppy?

Well, Tommy was named after my Dad who came to Canada after WW II on Olympic Boxing Trials. The first Tommy Donovan was a poor kid from London England who had great difficulty in school (story is he learned to read by reading labels as the cook’s helper on a British Naval Ship – probably an important skill when feeding a few hundred men!) but was a superb boxer and soccer player – and so in the spirit of the times was “passed” every year so that he could continue to play for his school.  Surely we would not do that today, and I can’t say it was the best thing for the first Tommy in our family. But it does speak to the power of sport and its ability to pull children – and their children out of poverty. 

Tommy2 is a daily reminder of that important lesson. So hats off to all those organizations who help today’s Tommys and Emilies to afford to actively participate in sport and recreation activities – they could grow up to be some Office Puppy’s namesake!  

~Wendy Donovan 

The "Original" Tommy Donovan


Tommy Donovan - Boxing





Our newest presence on the Internet


dmA Consulting Planning and Management Services is pleased to expand our presence online by offering you some useful information and insights into our services, and how they relate to your community.

We’re looking forward to providing ongoing posts that we hope will serve as a guide to developing the invaluable recreational facet of your organization, community, or municipality.