Kerrisdale Community Centre Society—An Update on JOA Negotiations with Vancouver Park Board – Feb 19
The Joint Operating Agreement is a legal contract defining the roles and responsibilities of both the Park Board and the Community Centre Association (CCA) as they relate to the operation of community centres. The new JOA will affect the ability of Kerrisdale Community Centre Society (KCCS) to:
- Tailor programs, services and scheduling to the needs of KCC patrons;
- Keep program fees affordable – additional costs will result in increases in the price of programs;
- Subsidize youth and seniors activities, including the Seniors lunch program, Opera Zone, Youth Games Room, and Crossroads Café;
- Continue the Centre’s full operating hours (the most in the City), including operating on statutory holidays because KCCS is heavily underwriting staff costs;
- Maintain the low cost for our Fitness Room;
- Put aside money for renovations, supplies and capital equipment, e.g. toddler play area, equipment for Kerrisdale and Maple Grove Pools, Fitness Room, and gymnasium equipment.
On-going discussions with Vancouver Park Board
In the campaign leading up to the November 2014 Civic Election, the NPA and Green party candidates for Park Board promised that, if elected, they would achieve a more effective working relationship with Vancouver’s Community Centre Associations (CCAs) and a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) that meets the needs of the CCAs as well as the Park Board.
This is what has happened:
- June 2015: KCCS, with 4 other CCAs, held mediated discussions with the Park Board; Park Board made unacceptable demands and few concessions to meet our needs.
- CCAs are allowed to comment only on matters presented piece-meal by the Park Board;
- The Park Board will incorporate only the feedback it chooses;
- The schedule and process for receiving CCA inputs have been unreasonable;
- September 10: The Park Board released its draft JOA (40 pages).
- October 4: The Park Board advised that Associations that do not sign the new agreement will no longer have a role in the operation of their community centre.
- November 4: 16 (out of 20) CCAs presented a JOA proposal to the Park Board. (This is posted on the KCCS website: http://kerrisdalecc.com/negotiations-with-park-board/). No response.
- December 1: The Park Board released its revised JOA Proposal.
- December 3: The CCAs raised a number of concerns about the December proposal
- January 13: an amended proposal was released (50 pages). Legal advice is that CCAs should not sign this document. To view: http://kerrisdalecc.com/negotiations-with-park-board/
- January 28: CCAs again raised a number of concerns to Park Board staff about latest proposal
- February 8: The first day of the Special Park Board meeting at the Wosk Centre to hear public comments on the proposal was cancelled due to extreme winter storm warnings.
- February 9: On the second day of the Special Park Board meeting at the Wosk Centre, the Board of Commissioners listened to over forty registered speakers who pleaded and voiced their thoughts and concerns on the proposed JOA. The meeting convened with the Chair announcing that the remaining speakers would be heard on February 16.
- February 16: The remaining registered speakers made their presentations to Park Board Commissioners at the Park Board Office at 2099 Beach Ave.
This is what is coming:
- March 6: Park Board Commissioners will vote on the proposed JOA.
At this point, KCCS and many other CCAs are not likely to sign the proposed agreement.
Why? Based on the material received to date from the Park Board, the CCAs see too much that presents operational and legal difficulties:
- Turning over to Park Board revenue from programs and services at each community centre;
- Park Board can to implement policies at any time that could alter the terms of the agreement;
- Conditions that violate the Income Tax Act for Registered Charities and the Societies Act;
- Park Board can unilaterally cancel the agreement any time for any reason it chooses;
- Overriding the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)(Canada); and
- Allowing the Park Board to interfere in the CCAs’ internal affairs.
What you can do:
- Write to Park Board Commissioners: PBcommissioners@vancouver.ca. Tell them that getting a Joint Operating Agreement that is fair and operationally effective for both community centre associations and Park Board is important to you.
- Stay informed about current status of negotiations: http://kerrisdalecc.com/negotiations-with-park-board/ and http://mycommunitycentre.com/mcc/
- Other activities are being planned. Please stay tuned
Kathleen Bigsby, President, Kerrisdale Community Centre Society
February 19, 2017