The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation unanimously passed a motion opposing the proposal by the City Manager (Penny Ballem) that would remove Park Board representation from the governance structure of Hastings Park.
The motion Hastings Park Governance: Elected Park Board Representation on the PNE Board of Directors was put forward by Commissioner Erin Shum as new business. Shum said that it is imperative for Park Board to have representation in the governance of Hastings Park. The changes in the City Manager’s report will be considered by Vancouver City Council on Wednesday, June 10th. Members of the public will be able to address Council if they sign up prior to the meeting (via email: email@example.com or by phone: 604.873.7269).
Commissioner John Coupar spoke about the history of Hastings Park, and he mentioned that it is one of the oldest parks in Vancouver (established in 1889, a mere 2 years after Stanley Park). Coupar also reminded everyone that the previous board had unanimously supported a motion in 2013 supporting Park Board governance of Hastings Park.
The way the City Council report is worded could allow for another City employee to replace Park Board GM Malcolm Bromley on the PNE Board, warned Commissioner Mackinnon. With the proposed changes Park Board could potentially lose all representation on the PNE Board (currently one elected official and one employee). City Councillor Heather Deal is a former Park Board Commissioner. How will Deal respond to the proposed removal of Park Board influence over Hastings Park?
Former Commissioner Sarah Blyth had previously represented Park Board on the PNE Board. The changes proposed by the City Manager will result in less transparency and less public oversight over the governance of Hastings Park.
The current composition of the PNE Board is listed on the organization’s website:
Raymond Louie, PNE Board Chair (currently also a City Councillor)
Malcolm Bromley, PNE Board Vice Chair (current Park Board GM)
Patrice Impey, Treasurer (CoV Financial Services GM)
Brenda Prosken, PNE Director (GM Community Services Group)
Sadhu Johnston, PNE Director (Deputy City Manager)
Richard Saunders, PNE Director
Cheryl Carline, PNE Director
Peter Legge, PNE Director
A longer list of PNE Board members is contained in the March 30, 2015 meeting minutes.