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Community centre uncomfortable with new operating agreement

Kerrisdale Community Centre concerned about control in new Joint Operating Agreement

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Reported by Allison Hayes

Three weeks past the deadline, the Vancouver Board of Parks + Recreation is still waiting on a number of Vancouver community centres to sign its proposed agreement to update operational rules.

The Joint Operating Agreement is a one-size-fits-all contract between the Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver community centres that serves as an extensive guideline on how centres are to provide services and collect fees.

Six associations have signed the agreement before the Sept. 30-deadline, and another eight are conducting extensive reviews. The remaining six centres claim the agreement, as it stands, gives the park board too much power over individual operations.

Kerrisdale concerned about volunteer control

Kathleen Bigsby, president of Kerrisdale Community Centre, said that her association has not signed the agreement because, she claims, it only spells out how community centres are to operate internally, with no emphasis on the standard of the service they provide.

“There’s nothing that talks about the breadth or the quality of the program, the frequency,” she said. “What they’re really concerned about is controlling volunteer, community-based organizations.”

Numerous attempts by The Voice to reach both the Vancouver Park Board and Sunset Community Centre went unanswered.

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