As many followers of this blog know, on October 23, 2017, Park Board Commissioners voted to make changes to the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA). Community Centre Associations (CCAs) have been requesting these changes for months. These changes give the appendices power in this agreement, should a situation come up where clarification is needed.
Now, It’s About the Appendices
Now, we are working on the appendices. The appendices are an important part of this agreement. There are six issues in the body of the JOA that need to be tackled. The Park Board has acknowledged that these issues are serious and that they need to be addressed. The Park Board staff chose to deal with them in the appendices, which then required the change in the body of the JOA. It is a process that we believe is complicated beyond reason, yet this is the process that we need to work within. And we are willing to do that to get an agreement that works for each of our communities.
We Need a Good Faith Approach
We appreciate that Park Board Commissioners stepped forward and voted to change the JOA. We are cautiously optimistic that we – working in partnership with the Park Board – will get appendices that will work both for the Park Board and the CCAs. Last week’s decision to change the JOA was a good first step. There is still work to be done – a lot of work. And we hope that the good faith shown by the Park Board last week will continue into the process of developing appendices that we can accept.
The Three CCAs with Many Others
Three CCAs (Hastings Community Association, Kerrisdale Community Centre Society and Killarney Community Centre Society) are taking a more public role in pushing back on the Park Board – and we will continue to do so. It isn’t just the three of us though. There are 14 CCAs that have not signed the agreement. These other CCAs support us and they care about the appendices too. We meet and we talk regularly. We are a cohesive, strong group. The three of us stepping up can do so because we are more protected than others through a lawsuit we are involved in against the Park Board. As a part of the lawsuit, there is a Court injunction saying that we can’t be evicted from our community centres. This gives us protection that many other CCAs don’t have – and like a good community member, we want everyone to get a JOA that works for their community. So, we have stepped forward a little more publicly than others are comfortable doing.
We are working on language with our legal counsel for the appendices. We are engaged and collaborating with many other CCAs (most of them, in fact) and we are hopeful that we will get what we need from the appendices. We want Park Board Commissioners to provide leadership and vision to staff, so that the appendices can be finalized and we can each recommend to our respective boards of directors that this is an agreement that is acceptable. We will keep you posted.