03 January 2011

Six goals for 2011

It is hard to believe that this is the last year of my mandate from 2008. Time flies! With about 11 months left in this term I have 6 major goals for the year.

1) Management restructuring of the Park Board to make it more efficient and responsive. The Park Board needs to restructure--this is something we have known since the beginning of this mandate. The previous General Manager, Susan Mundick, wanted to start on the restructure after the election but was swept away and now here we are in our last year with little to show for it but a lot of folks in 'acting' positions. Restructuring the management to better reflect the nature of the organization would go along way to streamlining decision making and cost cutting too.

2) A stewardship plan for Stanley Park. Staff is working out the details now on an overall management plan for Stanley Park. Many parts--like the state of the ecology, and forest management plans--have already been completed.

3) Support Commissioner Woodcock's call for a visioning for Beaver Lake. This little gem in the heart of Stanley Park is in dire need of help. We need to put together a plan for the future that respects the integrity of the lake so that it fits into the bigger picture of the park as a whole.

4) An honest reassessment of our Joint Operating Agreements with our Community Centre partners. The stop/start process that has been on again/off again over the past few years must be changed into a respectful dialogue that is beneficial for the community at large.

5) A Capital Plan that recognizes the aging infrastructure of our community amenities and the real needs of the Park Board.

6) A fair and equitable contract for our hard-working and dedicated employees. Approaching the negotiations from a position of respect will go a long way to making the process a lot easier.

3 comments:

  1. Christopher Richardson, FCAJanuary 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    This is part 2 of 2 responding to Stuart's 11.01.03 "Six goals for 2011" Post

    3. The Capital Plan must be an evolving document that demonstrates a well-reasoned list of priorities rather than competition. Over the years, a list of priorities have allowed those in-line to see that they are on the list --- maybe not this time but their needs are identified and all going well -- they will eventually be on the 3 year Capital Plan put before the voters. Also the idea of 'doing each project right' was agreed to in about 2000. Adequate funds would be provided to ensure that each project was done right -- not just done. In the past, funds were spread thinly and projects were inadequate when unveiled --- a case in point was the Kitsilano expansion in the early 2000's when the shortcomings were hi-lighted at the opening --- not a good way to start. Therefore, the Capital Plan list has to a 'living' list ... not one with pet projects that come and go. Also, the key to the Vancouver park systems has been its ability to purchase strategic lands for the future --- this was until recently achieved by setting aside 15% of Capital funds for land acquisition. This 'given' -- like the Engineers 100 year sewer replacement plan must be returned.

    4. Staff respect and Staff succession are the same. A number of years ago the Vancouver Park system introduced a staff development / succession plan that was the best around. I would hear staff from other jurisdictions commenting upon how if the could they would work for / with us. But what happened --- certainly having all ( well almost ) acting -- must offer some advantages but the system does not thrive upon uncertainty. I hear about a moto of 'we no longer strive to be the best' but to ' do the best we can with what we have'. This attitude of defeat is not what Vancouver wants or deserves. The recent underfunding one again of the Park Board is a shame .... The Board has a budget ( it is called a global budget to avoid meddling from 453 ) and it is impacted by wage increases and inflation + added basic additions and deletions due of facility additions and closures. IF these funds are provided there should not be any reason for drastic cut-backs ... and last-minute demands for Community Associations to turn over their funds to balance the tax-payer supported 'global' budget. But for whatever reason at a time that the Park Board --- the provider of green healthy living opportunities is being asked to cut tree replacement, cut services, and hours and staff and programs that unfortunately impact upon the most vulnerable. Obviously, some do not understand the Park Board and others accept unwarranted cuts that are not transparent. Yes there is frustration but the City and its Parks and Recreation system is too important to write-off ... so yes setting goals and working to achieve them is a worthy pursuit .... and along the way more goals will be identified, discussed and debated before be leave 2011.

    I would love to hear your comments as this discussion continues ....

    thank you from Christopher ( a proud former Park Commissioner (1986 to 1990 and 1999 to 2002) -- also I have the honour of being the 2010-2011 President of the Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association but the comments and views are mine and not necessary that of the MPCCA Board. )

    ReplyDelete
  2. Christopher Richardson, FCAJanuary 4, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Thank you Stuart -- I cannot argue with your "Six goals for 2011" --

    part 2 of 2 ...

    3. The Capital Plan must be an evolving document that demonstrates a well-reasoned list of priorities rather than competition. Over the years, a list of priorities have allowed those in-line to see that they are on the list --- maybe not this time but their needs are identified and all going well -- they will eventually be on the 3 year Capital Plan put before the voters. Also the idea of 'doing each project right' was agreed to in about 2000. Adequate funds would be provided to ensure that each project was done right -- not just done. In the past, funds were spread thinly and projects were inadequate when unveiled --- a case in point was the Kitsilano expansion in the early 2000's when the shortcomings were hi-lighted at the opening --- not a good way to start. Therefore, the Capital Plan list has to a 'living' list ... not one with pet projects that come and go. Also, the key to the Vancouver park systems has been its ability to purchase strategic lands for the future --- this was until recently achieved by setting aside 15% of Capital funds for land acquisition. This 'given' -- like the Engineers 100 year sewer replacement plan must be returned.

    4. Staff respect and Staff succession are the same. A number of years ago the Vancouver Park system introduced a staff development / succession plan that was the best around. I would hear staff from other jurisdictions commenting upon how if the could they would work for / with us. But what happened --- certainly having all ( well almost ) acting -- must offer some advantages but the system does not thrive upon uncertainty. I hear about a motto of 'we no longer strive to be the best' but to ' do the best we can with what we have'. This attitude of defeat is not what Vancouver wants or deserves. The recent underfunding one again of the Park Board is a shame .... The Board has a budget ( it is called a global budget to avoid meddling from 453 ) and it is impacted by wage increases and inflation + added basic additions and deletions due of facility additions and closures. IF these funds are provided there should not be any reason for drastic cut-backs ... and last-minute demands for Community Associations to turn over their funds to balance the tax-payer supported 'global' budget. But for whatever reason at a time that the Park Board --- the provider of green healthy living opportunities is being asked to cut tree replacement, cut services, and hours and staff and programs that unfortunately impact upon the most vulnerable. Obviously, some do not understand the Park Board and others accept unwarranted cuts that are not transparent. Yes there is frustration but the City and its Parks and Recreation system is too important to write-off ... so yes setting goals and working to achieve them is a worthy pursuit .... and along the way more goals will be identified, discussed and debated before be leave 2011.

    I would love to hear your comments as this discussion continues ....

    thank you from Christopher ( a proud former Park Commissioner (1986 to 1990 and 1999 to 2002) -- also I have the honour of being the 2010-2011 President of the Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association but the comments and views are mine and not necessary that of the MPCCA Board. )

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am interested in the "reassement
    of the JOAs with Community Centre Associations. It would appear that the Park Board (or perhaps City Manager Ballem) wants the revenues from the centres therefore putting the Associations into basically an advisory roll.

    As a taxpayer I want management more accountable for therre decisions for example how much has the size and cost of management grown in the last 10 years? As well can we afford to fund the capital projects as we have in the past?

    Case in point Trout Lake Centre and Rink will come in at a cost of approximately 40 Million dollars with Vancouver taxpayers footing the bill. A rink with no seats a gym and fitness centre and meeting rooms. Under 80,000 Sq Ft.

    Compare that to Langley Township over 200000 Sq Ft. Full size rink seating 5,000, 3 full size gyms. fitness centre, Gymnastics gym, 50 seat banquet facility, multi purpose rooms as well as medical facilities for 54 million 17 from the Township, 17 from the PRovince and the reat from Private sector

    Who is getting the better bang for their buck??

    WE cant even afford to keep existing centres running without cutting staff.

    ReplyDelete