21 November 2009

When enough is enough

I wasn't elected to oversee the dismantling of the Park Board or the degradation of our parks and recreation system. Yet for the second year in a row I am being asked to approve a budget that contains another cut for the Park Board. Granted every department in the city is faced with budget cuts, but no other department has an elected board whose mandate is to 'provide, preserve and advocate...to benefit people, communities and the environment'. I would be remiss in my duties if I were to simply accept the estimated budget allocation without advocating for our parks and community centres, our programs and our gardens.

Park Board management has prepared a document that outlines the cuts they recommend and will be asking the elected board to approve these cuts on Wednesday (November 25 at 7 pm) at a special meeting of the Park Board. I have been inundated with pleas from citizens to protect areas that are on the chopping bloc. Whether it is the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, the Sunset Nursery, the Trees on the Street program, the Children's Farmyard or any of the other cuts, people have consistently said they would rather pay higher taxes than lose the precious services the Park Board offers

So I am asking you to write/call/e-mail Vancouver City Council and tell them if you are willing to accept higher taxes to support your parks and recreation services. Nothing is free. Without cuts our taxes will increase more than the projected 2%. It is your choice. Without more dollars in our estimated budget, services and programming will be reduced

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