CityHallWatch has received this media release from the Community Centre Associations, ahead of tonight’s Park Board meeting where Commissioners are expected to vote on the Joint Operating Agreement. (See agenda here, plus links for live web video. The Park Board meetings are open to the public.)
For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017
Community Centre Associations call on Park Board Commissioners to direct staff to work with CCAs and their lawyer to complete a Joint Operating Agreement that works
Vancouver, B.C. – A group of 14 Community Centre Associations (CCAs) have a clear, strong message for Park Board Commissioners ahead of tonight’s meeting: Direct staff to work with their one collective lawyer on a few final, critical issues. If this is done, the 14 CCAs suggest, they could have a signed JOA in a month.
Park Board released several documents, including proposed amendments made without the participation or knowledge of the CCAs on Friday evening (March 3, 2017). Said Kate Perkins, President of Trout Lake CCA: “The information made public late on Friday night missed or sidestepped critical concerns and now presents a legal opinion contradicting the Associations’ concern over independence/ability and in conflict with the Societies Act and/or CRA regulations. We have asked to work these out amicably with both legal counsel in attendance.”
Perkins explained that the CCAs’ greatest concern is that Commissioners accept what is being presented tonight. Leaving the items identified as problematic by CCAs as unresolved. She said: “CCAs would have a difficult decision on whether to sign an agreement that still poses legal ramifications. If that decision is no, then according to Park Board, we would be signaling we no longer wish to be partners. This is disheartening and distressing when we have continued to indicate just the opposite.” She continued: “We have cooperated in good faith and compromised on matters critical for Park Board, including no charge for membership, system-wide programming and a percentage of our gross revenue. We want to rebuild the relationship with the Park Board. Directing staff to work with us and our lawyer to get this done is the right step in that direction.”
In February 2017 more than 75 community members (including CCA presidents) clearly stated at public meetings that unless Park Board staff was directed to work with the CCAs and their lawyer to address the critical remaining few issues, the agreement would not be signed by the 14 CCAs. When Commissioners are asked to vote on this agreement tonight, the CCAs want them to remember what their partners have repeatedly requested.
Vancouver Community Centre Associations have an admirable 60 to 70-year track record of responsible financial management, community engagement, volunteer commitment, investment in local facilities, and recreation leadership. For more information about this issue, please visit: www.mycommunitycentre.com.
For more information or an interview with a spokesperson for the group of CCAs, please contact Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.