For Immediate Release
September 20, 2017
Members of Kerrisdale Community Centre Society vote “NO” on Park Board Joint Operating Agreement
Vancouver, B.C. – The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society (KCCS) saw 496 members vote in a Special General Meeting (with advance polling) yesterday. They voted to reject the 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. The voting results were: 15 to accept and 481 to reject.
Said Kathleen Bigsby, President of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society: “We have an engaged community and because of the ongoing concerns about what is included in this agreement, we knew that we had to go to our members for a vote on whether to sign it or not.” She added: “Our members gave us clear direction that they don’t feel that this agreement is good for our community centre.”
Bigsby said that with this vote, the KCCS board will meet to identify next steps in this ongoing issue with the Park Board and the JOA. She explained: “We need to fully understand all of the pieces of what this vote means to our community centre. We had hoped that we – and other CCAs – would have been able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement with the Park Board, to get a JOA that works for the Park Board and CCAs. And I can say, without hesitation, that the group of CCAs did our best to do that. Unfortunately, the Park Board was entrenched in pushing a JOA on us that did not work for our communities and we could not, in good faith, recommend to our boards that it be signed. It is a real shame that the Park Board does not see us as being true partners.”
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.