Hundreds protest park board decision to centralize cash
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2013 8:13AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 5, 2013 1:12PM PST
VANCOUVER - A nine hour public meeting in Vancouver ended at around 3:30 this morning to shrieks and shouts as the city's park commissioners voted in favour of moving ahead to pool community centre services and revenues.
Several hundred people packed the raucous meeting, with many participants vehemently opposed to plans to centralize community centre cash in order to share it with less affluent centres across Vancouver.
Currently, each community centre is overseen by a volunteer society, with that group retaining any extra funds generated by centre programming, and pumping the cash back into its own facility.
Commissioners on the Vision Vancouver-dominated board voted 5 to 2 in favour of recommendations to have the estimated $1.2-million surplus returned to park board control, something Vision commissioner Niki Sharma insists it is not a cash grab.
Many of those at the marathon gathering disagreed, and police had to be called as tempers flared during several efforts to adjourn the meeting to regain calm.
NPA commissioner Melissa De Genova, who voted against centralizing the money, says she is embarrassed on behalf of the park board.