There are six serious issues with the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) that must be addressed. The Park Board has acknowledged this and has provided CCAs with proposed changes to the language around the issues. Currently, we are reviewing the Park Board’s proposal and having our lawyer go through it.
One of the key issues is use of retained earnings – you can read about it here.
The reason that this is important to CCAs is because we contribute to our communities in many ways and we want to continue to do so. Here are several examples of some of the contributions we make that would be at risk without the right changes being made to the JOA. They are:
Hastings Community Association
In recent years, funding for playgrounds at Vancouver schools has been done primarily by local Parent Advisory Committees (PACs). Hastings Community Association (HCA) recognizes that this is a serious burden on parents. When two different schools in Hastings-Sunrise required new playgrounds, HCA contributed to both projects. These playgrounds provide excellent opportunities for kids to stay active in a safe environment in their neighbourhood.
In 2016, Hastings Little League had a big year. The local club hosted the Little League Canadian Championships. HCA stepped forward and helped to sponsor the event. And – more exciting was that the Hastings team won the Canadian Championship and represented Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania that year too.
Kerrisdale Community Centre Society
At Kerrisdale, friends of Wendy Ladner-Beaudry, a regular user of the Kerrisdale Community Centre, wanted to celebrate her life and honour her memory. They wanted to place an outdoor Scrabble table in a little park behind the community centre. The Park Board’s requirements for this type of installation pushed the price well beyond the amount that the friends had raised. The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society (KCCS) stepped in and contributed to the funding so that the memorial could be built and installed. It continues to offer a pleasant way to enjoy the park and a game of scrabble and honours a woman who had given much to her community.
Another example is when a group of residents wanted a turf field with an all-weather surface running track around it and lighting so that it could be used at night. It was to be installed on land owned by the Vancouver School Board and the Park Board. KCCS contributed to the fundraising campaign that made this dream possible. Now – sports groups, individuals and teams of all ages use the field and it hosts high school track events. This field helps support physical activity in the neighbourhood.
Killarney Community Centre Society
Each year, Killarney Community Centre Society provides scholarships for post-secondary education to students in the area who have volunteered at the community centre. This provides young people with an opportunity to get community experience as a volunteer, and it supports their post-secondary education and future career dreams.
Killarney also partners with Killarney Secondary School to sponsor a youth dragon boat team. A part of the criteria set by Killarney Community Centre Society is that at-risk youth – young people who have never been a part of a dragon boat team – get to participate. Without this funding, at-risk youth would not be able to participate in this excellent team building, interactive sport.
Why This Matters
An important part of being a good neighbour is supporting others in your community. The CCAs know this. By ensuring that use of retain earnings accurately reflects their role in the community, the CCAs are making sure that they can be good community partners going forward.
This is an issue in the JOA that needs to be revised. CCAs need to maintain the right to contribute to community events, campaigns and initiatives that benefit the people of the neighbourhood.