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

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.

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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: ruth@ahacreative.com.

One thought on “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

  1. Once again the Citizens of Vancouver are being presented with an opportunity to decide for themselves on who the so-called independent Vancouver Park Board truly work for, the Citizens of Vancouver or Vancouver City Hall and whether or not the Park Board Commissioners represent the Citizens of Vancouver or cede to the orders of their municipal parties and political ambitions.

    The push for a new JOA comes directly from Vision Vancouver and from the outside it looks like the COV/VPB are trying to neuter them.
    While the CCA’s rightly view themselves as long standing community partners Bob Mackin’s column in the Breaker revealed that the VPB and senior managers do not share in that version of history or trust in a equally shared future direction.

    Should the COV/VPB and PB Commissioners not allow the CCA’s to have their legal representation participate in the clarification and fine-tuning of the agreement suitable to all then without question their motives are suspicious.
    It would be even better if the proposed JOA was subject to an independent legal review paid for by the COV/VPB.
    Lets not forget that the VPB/COV always find monies available for their pet projects like spending over 100 thousand dollars to relocate illegally planted shrubs and bushes from the Arbutus Corridor into public parks with the Citizens of Vancouver now having to cover the ongoing maintenance costs.

    Canada-wide Community Centre Associations play a vital role in delivering neighbourhood needs tailored to suit their diversity and all of them do it dealing direct with their own city councils and without the interference of a separate park board bureaucracy and pass on the savings thru increased recreation opportunities, facilities and services.
    If you never have check it out, not just other Lower Mainland municipalities but across Canada, each one delivers more for less.
    Having a separate Park Board and Park Board Commissioners allows the COV to avoid direct accountability and costs the Citizens of Vancouver hundreds of millions to maintain the myth of their independent status.

    I wonder if BCLC is giving odds on the JOA vote?

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