“I feel that my rights have been violated and my employee future at COV has been threatened. I am a volunteer community leader that was elected President of Kensington to serve the best interest of the grassroots of my community. I am planning on finishing my term and reaching a fair joint operating agreement that I can bring to the membership.”
“An employee may engage in any Political Activity so long as it does not impair, or is not perceived as impairing, the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties in a politically impartial manner. This precludes employees from displaying slogans or symbols supporting a particular party or candidate while at work where their duties may reasonably require them to interact in person with the public or where their duties require them to supervise, schedule or assign work to others.”
UPDATE (Feb. 25): Kljajic did not speak to Parks Board, but Kensington’s past-president Mary Sutherland delivered his remarks:
Good evening. I’m here tonight to speak on behalf of our current President Milan Kljajic. Milan sends his regrets as he is dealing with some issues with the City of Vancouver. His statement is as follows:
Our Association fully supports this motion. It is time for the Commissioners to take control of this situation and listen to the public.
Commissioners, we are extremely disappointed by the continued lack of leadership you have demonstrated and the apparent lack of respect for public opinion. Until recently, our association had agreed to continue participating in ongoing JOA negotiations with the Park Board. As a centre that serves many people with lower incomes, we have always fully support programs that will allow greater access to community centres.
Unfortunately, through your recent actions, it became clear that the Park Board is intent on implementing its plans and that negotiations will neither be transparent nor appropriate to the magnitude of the issue. It is for that reason that our board of directors met last week and decided that we could no longer participate in what we feel is a disrespectful process that doesn’t address the real issues.
Despite modest revenues and years of financial and administrative neglect by the Park Board, our association has been able to retain a modest amount of revenue. We’ve been flexible with our money over the years, funding popular community programs and services and even investing $600,000 towards the capital cost of constructing the most recent addition to the Kensington Community Centre, which now houses a seniors’ lounge, dance studio and administrative space. That investment was nowhere to be seen on the report from staff that you accepted in the wee hours on February 5. As a ‘have not’ – or more appropriately Park Board neglected – centre, we did not ask for such radical changes to the financial arrangement between the CCAs and Park Board.
We do not feel that the funding scheme that you support will benefit anything more than Park Board’s general revenues, which is a matter that commissioners should be taking up with the City Manager, Mayor and City Councilors. What is more distressing is that there has been no commitment by the Park Board to truly solicit public input on the matter. Your current approach is to make the decision and then attempt to bring the public onside when they do not have any say in the matter.
As a result, you do not have the support of the people who voted for you. Public opposition to your current plan outweighs support 2:1. What is even more telling is that residents of the west and east sides of Vancouver have the same opinion. The public does not support your attempt to make radical, ill-informed changes without any public consultation. This is a matter of public policy and is your responsibility. It should not be delegated to staff.
Commissioners, I strongly encourage you to step up and demonstrate leadership and support this motion. Introduce true public consultation into the process and re-instill faith in those people who you will be calling on to vote for you in the coming months. Thank you.
He was among Clark’s guests in the deluxe B.C. Place Suite when B.C. Place Stadium reopened on Sept. 30, 2011 and he was registered as a lobbyist for Exel, the company that wanted to privatize liquor distribution.
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