Intro: Below is a media release from the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society. See bottom for context and links to KCCS website outlining concerns with the JOA, which the Park Board is expecting to have signed by September 30.
This topic is a huge one for the character of our communities, life in our neighbourhoods, and the relationships with the municipal government. Many other community center associations are affected by the JOA and need to deal with the same types of issues. To follow the collective efforts of multiple CCAs visit http://mycommunitycentre.com/mcc/ or see @Vancouver_CCAs on Twitter.
Kerrisdale Community Centre Society sees big community turnout for input on Park Board Joint Operating Agreement
Vancouver, B.C. – The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society saw more than 300* people come out to two community meetings held yesterday to gather public feedback on a proposed Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) that the Park Board requires Kerrisdale and all other Community Centre Associations (CCAs) in Vancouver to sign by September 30, 2017. (*Approximately 175 at the 1 p.m. meeting and 130 at the 7:30 p.m. meeting).
Said Kathleen Bigsby, President of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society: “We wanted to know what our community thought, so we asked them.” She added: “The Kerrisdale community is involved, engaged and active in what happens in our neighbourhood. They came out and they told us – in no uncertain terms – that they are not happy with the proposed agreement that the Park Board is pushing us to sign. In fact, several of our members are already discussing how they can organize public protests. Unless some changes are made to the contract currently on the table, our community has made it clear that the issue isn’t going away anytime soon.”
While the meeting was not a formal vote on whether to sign the agreement (that will happen in September at a Special General Meeting for members), Bigsby says that the volunteer executive and board of the Society did get clear direction from the community – they are not happy with the proposed Joint Operating Agreement. She said: “Our first step will be to reach out to Park Board Commissioners and ask for a meeting so we can address our serious concerns about sections of this proposed agreement. We want an agreement that works for the Park Board and for our unique community. I don’t think that is too much to ask.” She added: “If commissioners can take a step forward and workwith us, it could be a big win for the Park Board and for the community centres in Vancouver.”
About Kerrisdale Community Centre
The Kerrisdale Community Centre is jointly operated by the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society and the Vancouver Park Board. One of the earliest community centres to be built in Vancouver, it was constructed in 1955 through a local improvement bylaw initiative, where residents in the area agreed to directly fund facility building costs.
The centre provides an opportunity for seniors, families (the parents and the children), young adults and newcomers to Canada to meet, socialize, make use of the recreational facilities, and participate in diverse programs developed specifically to meet the unique needs of the community. It provides members with the opportunity to start or strengthen social, emotional and neighbourhood relationships, stay fit, keep their minds sharp, have a healthy lunch, and is key in helping to maintain an authentic, robust sense of community in the area.
The Community Centre website is http://www.kerrisdalecc.com/.
Joint Operating Agreement FAQs
Since the 1950’s, Vancouver’s community centres have been run by volunteer community centre associations, working in partnership with the Vancouver Park Board. The last formal partnership agreement was signed in 1979. For the past 15 years, the Park Board and the associations have been meeting intermittently to develop a new agreement that meets the needs of the Park Board and the associations (each association serves a unique Vancouver community).
The most recent contract development process began in May 2016 and it produced a proposed Joint Operating Agreement approved by the elected Park Board Commissioners in April of this year . It is this proposed contract that we are bringing to our community for comment.
Q: Why is the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society concerned about the proposed draft of the Park Board contract?
A: The Joint Operating Agreement being presented to us by the Park Board for our signature has several serious challenges that will affect how our community centre operates. (You can find the 50+ page document at: http://www.kerrisdalecc.com/category/negotiations/).
If we sign this document, the Park Board will have stronger control in important areas of how we run Kerrisdale’s community centre.
See KCCS FAQs page for detailed list of about 15 specific items.
Other questions on the FAQs page include…
Q: Kerrisdale Community Centre has an outstanding financial disagreement with the Park Board – how is that being dealt with in the context of the proposed contract?
Q: You have been pushing back on the Park Board for a long period of time. What achievements have been made with this agreement?
Q: What are the financial ramifications of signing this contract?
Q: This has been going on for a long time; why is it so hard to get a contract that works for our community centre?
Q: Is this issue because the Park Board has a lack of respect for how community centres are run?
Q: If you sign this Park Board contract – what happens to the lawsuit against the Park Board that Kerrisdale is involved in?
Q: What happens if Kerrisdale doesn’t sign this contract?
Q: Can the Park Board really evict us if we don’t sign the agreement?
Q: Are the other Community Centre Associations (CCAs) signing this contract?
Q: What happens if some CCAs sign and some don’t?
Q: What happens next?
Q: What does the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society Board of Directors think that we should do?
See the KCCS FAQs page for all the answers.
KCCS has a page on “How You Can Help”
More information on “Negotiations with the Park Board”