Future of elected Park Board debated

Should we elect our Vancouver Park Board commissioners? Let’s debate it

The six o’clock news is not where you want to debate an important topic like the future of an elected Vancouver Park Board, but it’s a great place to get people to notice the topic.

Last night GlobalTV’s Ron Bencze interviewed Coun. Andrea Reimer and CityCaucus.com’s own Mike Klassen on the topic. Reimer appears to have made up her mind in favour of the status quo. She says it makes the Park system more accountable.

Mike, on the other hand, is undecided. He points out that it usually is a political tool of council, and regarded widely as a "farm team" for future councillors (although we have a hard time imaging anyone from Vision’s PB caucus making that leap). Would a leaner, meaner City Hall run Vancouver’s park system more efficiently?

I’ve written on this topic before here, and it generated much debate on our blog. It’s certainly not a topic that’s going away.

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  • CW

    If you cut the Park Board, as some suggest, then there would be no debate at all. Closing the conservatory and other controversial decisions would simply be done by the bureaucracy. End of story. You should be happy to have a body that can and does listen to the citizens when making decisions. Be careful what you wish for!

  • John

    CW, the Park Board can and does listen to the citizens when making decisions and no one else in cit hall does? Sounds like we have a bigger problem than what to do with the Park Board.
    Is City hall is serious about saving money? Then axe it. It’s a waste of money.

  • It strikes me as more than passingly curious that anyone would suggest the Parks Board be dissolved because it farms political talent. The connection is forced, if not incompatible with logic and reason.
    An elected Parks Board is, as Jenny Craig consultant Reimer suggests, accountable.
    With the growing politicization of the city bureaucracy, particularly under the majority Vision council, you would think, Mike, that keeping as many accountable, elected bodies as possible is preferable than allowing bureaucrats, who would be under pressure from their political masters on council (or on Mayor’s staff), to run with decisions and initiatives that wouldn’t give citizens that time-honoured opportunity to have their voice heard, prior to having to go to city council as last resort.
    BTW, I loved the Chippendales t-shirt under a very finely tailored, smart-looking garment.
    Did you drive your white Ferrari to the interview? Did Tubbs come along for the ride?

  • Hey, I live in East Van. Not all of us pundits can afford Armani.

  • John

    @A, G. Tsakumis
    Let me make your day, and be the first to tell you the good news: The entire Vancouver government is accountable to you.

  • Bill

    If you accept the reasons given for a separate Parks Board, why not separate elected boards for other functions – police, fire, roads, social housing, garbage etc. Why are Parks different from other services?

  • John


  • CW

    Do a little of your homework and you’ll know why

  • Not Your Wife

    Does anyone here seriously think that whatever parks and rec we have would be here without a Park Board? Park Board, regardless of who sits as commissioners hears from the citizenry and usually acts accordingly. How many people do we see telling PB to dig up the flowers, shrubs and parks in order to pave over more of our precious greenbelt? Sorry all, but I live in Vancouver so that I can enjoy the green spaces that we do have. We need people at Park Board to stand up and occassionaly bite the hand that feeds them (City Council). Without this “extra” layer, I shudder to think of what will happen to this city (hello, North East False Creek!!!).