Breaking: No election eve miracle for community centres

But Group of 6 and senior city officials will meet again with Vince Ready next week

Vince Ready is weaving his mediation magic again, but couldn’t pull off a miracle on Nov. 14.

The Group of 6 community centre associations, who are resisting Vision Vancouver’s attempt at centralized control, and City of Vancouver will meet again after the election. There is a media blackout, but I have received information from a source after three days of talks.

City manager Penny Ballem and Park Board general manager Malcolm Bromley are directly involved in the Ready-mediated talks with heads of Hastings, Kensington, Kerrisdale, Killarney, Riley Park Hillcrest and Sunset community centre associations.

There were two days of negotiations at the Sheraton Hotel in Richmond on Nov. 5-6. I spotted Ballem in the hotel lobby on Nov. 6 in a jovial mood, but she would not comment. The room for the community centre associations was still occupied and I could hear laughter from the hallway. Quite a turnaround from what a source had told me was a stalemate earlier that day. The sides agreed to meet again Nov. 14 with Ready, this time at the Renaissance Harbourside in downtown Vancouver. Talks progressed and they have agreed to meet again sometime next week. The next date is to be decided Monday.

A five-year joint operating agreement with a three-year renewal is in the works that would include a 15-day dispute resolution clause. The two sides remain far apart on adoption of the OneCard and indemnification is also a sticky point. The city is willing to pay for criminal record checks of volunteers, but not for insurance at the community centres. It also wants to have scheduling control over meeting rooms and other facilities in the community centres.

More to come…

 


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