We are requesting three reasonable and simple changes to the JOA through the appendices. We are not asking the Park Board to change the body of the JOA.
Park Board staff is refusing to even talk with us about how we could find a way – together – to accommodate these changes. We are willing to work with Park Board staff to find mutually acceptable language – but they say they are not interested in discussing further changes.
Why is Park Board staff refusing to work with us to get this done? Why is Park Board staff drawing a line in the sand when we are so close to getting a signed Joint Operating Agreement that we can all accept? Where is the leadership Commissioners promised us?
In Appendix Clause 15 (JOA Section 14.3), we want to change one word – from “or” to “and” – this seems pretty straightforward to us. Park Board staff refuses to even discuss this. What is going on? Why are they refusing this simple change? You can see the entire section and our proposed change highlighted in red here.
The only other changes we require before we can sign the JOA are two that clarify the language of the how, when and why the Park Board could terminate the agreement or deny a CCA access to a new portion of the facility. The existing language is vague and does not provide any guidelines for CCAs to follow. They could be at risk of being terminated, yet have no idea they are doing anything wrong.
JOA Section 20.1 currently states that if there is to be a new addition to the facility, the Park Board may deny a CCA access to this area, even if the CCA currently has programming that is consistent with that offered in the new space. Section 20.3 states that if a community centre is replaced, the Park Board may terminate the JOA and not allow the CCA to jointly operate the new facility.
For example, when a new child care facility is set to be established in a community and the CCA is already effectively and successfully offering child care and wants to expand into the new facility, it could be denied for undefined reasons that are currently stated as “reasonable concerns” and that these “concerns” could have occurred prior to this JOA being signed (the Park Board could go back years or decades). Another example of this is in the case of a CCA that is due for an upgrade to their community centre. A new facility could mean that the JOA could be terminated by the Park Board and the CCA could be pushed out of their role in jointly operating the new community centre with the Park Board – because they got a new building (which some CCAs have spent years and even decades fundraising for – and would contribute financially to the new facility by purchasing equipment, furniture, etc.).
As it is written, a CCA would not necessarily know or find out, until it was too late, what the Park Board considered “reasonable concerns” or if it is considered to be in “sustained breach.” We just want criteria/specifics around this process – which is reasonable to request. You can see the entire section and our proposed changes highlighted in red here.
We agree that this section needs to be in the JOA to ensure that CCAs are effective and meet operational standards. We just want the standards in this new contract that we are expected to sign to be clear and defined so we can continue to meet them – as we have done for decades!
Why Are Commissioners Allowing Staff to Derail This Process?
We are so close to having a JOA! Let’s get this done! These are straightforward and necessary changes. They are all that we need in order to recommend to our respective boards that they sign this agreement.
Come on Park Board Commissioners – why are you allowing staff to derail the JOA process when we are so close to being able to sign?