KCCS Summer 2017 Report to the Membership

 

Kathleen Bigsby, our hard working president, has been on vacation for the past few weeks so as Past-President it is my pleasure to provide an update on recent events and achievements at the Kerrisdale Community Centre.

The most important, and pressing issue of course is the renewal of our Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Vancouver Park Board.  In the 2017 Spring Brochure (pages 4-6) Kathleen provided a brief summary of work done towards this goal dating back to 2001.  She also detailed some of the major concerns to community centre associations with the proposed JOA.   I will highlight only the most recent events leading up to our current situation.

Early this year the Park Board held public meetings, with contributions from more than 70 speakers, to receive comments from the citizens of Vancouver on the proposed JOA.  At the March 6th Park Board meeting a motion was passed to delay a decision for 30 days and to direct Park Board staff to review and consider legal issues surrounding the draft JOA.  There were and continue to be differing opinions as to what is a legal issue.  None-the-less, of the 20 centres impacted, a group of 15 community centre associations, including Kerrisdale, with representation from their lawyer submitted detailed concerns to the Park Board regarding the draft JOA.  Some other centres submitted independent comment.

At the April 10th Park Board meeting, the Commissioners voted to approve the draft JOA. In accepting the JOA, Commissioners made some modifications to the “final” document.

Under the new agreement, associations will not be able to charge for memberships.  However, at the discretion of each association, no-cost memberships will be allowed on an opt-in or opt-out basis.

The five, five, and five year segmented term of the original proposed agreement has been changed to 10 year term with the possibility of a five year renewal (maximum of 15 years).  Most importantly, however, the agreement will terminate at the end of the term, thereby dissolving the rights of each association to use or occupy the jointly operated facility.  At the end of the term, if both parties concur, a new operating agreement may be developed.

There has been some change on how the associations must use retained earnings (facility generated revenue); however, each association must still detail for approval of the Park Board how it will spend or keep as an operating contingency its retained earning.  This plan must be made available to the public (e.g., on the association’s web site) and be updated annually.

Those associations party to the 2013 court decision upholding the 1979 JOA must give up this case, as well as any associated claim on buildings and fixtures, or license to operate at their respective centre.

Each community centre association must make an annual payment of an “operating fee” comprising 1% (year one) of gross revenue (rising to 2% in year three) to the Park Board.   The Park Board has committed to use these monies to increase equity and achieve public policy goals across the community centre network; however, the Park Board retains the right of final decision on the use of these funds.

The financial implications to Kerrisdale Community Centre Society of this proposed agreement will be significant.  Loss of membership revenue and increased operating costs (higher staff costs, costs to the Society associated with the new ActiveNet registration system, and the new operating fee mentioned above) will result in an annual financial hit totalling more than $175,000.

It is now up to the community centre associations to determine whether or not they will accept the proposed agreement.   If they decide to accept this new agreement, several associations will have to change their constitution and/or by-laws to adhere with some requirements as set out in the JOA.

Associations have to September 30, 2017 to agree to the proposed JOA.  If accepted by an association, the implementation date will be January 1, 2018.

Why We Are Here:

The efforts to arrive at an equitable over the past five years have been difficult for everyone, particularly community centre volunteers. We have tried to maintain a meaningful role for community centre associations in centre operations across the City.  Even so, we continue in our day-to-day work in cooperation with hard-working, local Park Board staff to provide the best in recreation, art, and cultural services to our local residents.  To these goals, I can provide the following highlights.

Play Palace at the Kerrisdale Arena opened on April 12.  On April 19, the Society sponsored a free play session for those patrons under the age of 12 who are currently taking programs at the community centre.  As last year, it was lots of fun for those participating.

The kitchen staff and volunteers at the Seniors’ Centre kitchen continue to provide the popular Seniors’ lunches.  One hundred and nine Easter meals were served at the Easter Luncheon.  After lunch, patrons were entertained by the Brock House Big Band.  For those who are not familiar with our Seniors’ Lunch Program, approximately 30,000 Society subsidized lunches are served every year at our Senior Centre.

The Artists in the Community project at the Kerrisdale Arena is progressing well.  Artists Lisa Nielsen and Rene Cherrie have made great progress in reviewing archives and historical photographs taken at the arena since its inauguration in 1949 and in meeting local residents with memories of varied events at the arena.  Stay tuned for the date of the unveiling of their interactive diorama in June.

The Program Committee in cooperation with our programmers has been busy since last fall.  Many new, and successful, programs have been started including (Preschool) Drama Bugs, Young voices singing club, Piano & ukulele for preschoolers; (Children) Musical Theatre, Let’s Boost Reading (private reading tutor), Lego programs, and Mad Science programs;   (Youth) Junior Lifeguard club, Watercolor for youth, and Teen Yoga; (Adult & Seniors) Kundalini Yoga, Pilates for Posture, Sport Med BC workshops, Bollywood Burn Dance, Computer classes, and Nutritional workshops.

The 2-week Spring Break camp was full (30/28 children each week). Our instructors did a great job of integrating four special needs children. Parents of these children helped by providing written guidance on how to ensure their children had a successful camp experience.

Thank you again for making Kerrisdale the Courier sponsored 2017 Best Community Centre in the City,

Robert Lockhart, Past-President

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