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Riley Park Hillcrest CCA Elects a New Board of Directors

Riley Park Hillcrest Community Centre Association

The many months, swirling and often bitter and acrimonious allegation-spewing controversy surrounding the outlier and anti-democratic — and, it was alleged, utterly lacking in transparency — Riley Park Hillcrest Community Centre Board of Directors has, finally, reached some sort of resolution — following the removal, at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the CCA held this past Thursday evening, June 26th, of all 14 members of the previous, now defunct, Board and the consequent election of a new interim Board of Directors, the members of which will remain in place until the community centre association's annual general meeting is held in October.

VanRamblings' sources report that 112 of the 140-member-strong Riley Park Hillcrest Community Centre Association were present at Thursday evening's meeting, voting unanimously in favour of these resolutions ...

Special Resolution 1: Removal of current Board of Directors from office for cause:
  • No financial statements issued since 2012 AGM
  • No minutes of meetings issued since 2012 AGM;

Special Resolution 2: Delete changes to bylaws made by current Board of Directors at 2013 AGM, but not published until April 7, 2014;

Ordinary Resolution 3: Election of interim directors mandated to serve until 2014 AGM can be called

In a discussion with Ken Charko, a newly-elected Riley Park Hillcrest Community Centre Association Board member, he told us the following ...

"The goal of the 14 newly-elected members of the Riley Park Hillcrest community centre association, who had come forward to replace the previous, we believe unrepresentative and overly politicized Board, was to return a sense of representative democracy, and transparency of decision-making to a cherished neighbourhood institution.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the newly elected Board members harbour political aspirations, and speaking only for myself and not for my fellow Board members, I believe the time has past when an individual such as Jesse Johl, the recently deposed — and I would suggest, disgraced — President of the Riley Park Hillcrest CCA, might use his position on the Board as a launching pad for a political career is over."

In April, Charko, Jennifer Palma, Jaimini Thakore and Eli Zbar were in B.C. Supreme Court with a litany of complaints against the association and Johl. Affidavits filed in court included accusations of financial mismanagement, wrongful dismissal from the board, and sexual harassment. When asked if the group planned to proceed with the legal action, Charko indicated that no decision on the matter has been made by he and his fellow litigants.

In respect of the contentious negotiations surrounding the adoption of a renewed Joint Operating Agreement between Vancouver's 23 neighbourhood community centre associations and the Park Board, which is to say an agreement on revenue-sharing, programming and access — note: Riley Park Hillcrest CCA is currently one of the six, so-called dissident, community centre associations that has launched a legal action against the City of Vancouver and the Park Board — Charko had this to offer ...

"I believe a negotiated settlement is in everyone's best interests. Whether the new Board takes the decision to join the 12 community associations Presidents in the Association Presidents Group (APG), the members of which have been in negotiation with Park Board since February 15, 2013 respecting the adoption of a new Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), is undecided at this point. I'd have to say, though, that based on my discussion with my fellow Board members that we'd likely be amenable to an involvement in negotiating a co-operative agreement with Park Board that serves the members of the Riley Park Hillcrest community centre association, and the community at large."

Just in case you're wondering, that screaming and wailing you hear, that's former Riley Park Hillcrest CCA President Jesse Johl and, perhaps, a few members of the, soon-to-be-five, dissident community centre associations.

To be clear, setting aside the probable change of direction that Riley Park Hillcrest will take on the JOA, our sources tell us that the legal action will proceed, the matter likely to reach the courts in October, in the heat of the upcoming civic election, so as to inflict as much damage as possible to Vision Vancouver's chances for re-election come this November 15th.

In speaking with newly-elected Board member, retired UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems professor, Dr. Art Bomke, he indicated that he is in accord with the statements made by Mr. Charko above, adding that in his new position on the Board, and as a 40-year member of the Riley Park Hillcrest community, he is committed to community outreach and community consultation before taking any decision on matters that may impact the members of the CCA, and those who avail themselves of the services offered by the Riley Park Hillcrest Community Centre Association.

Newly elected members of the interim Board of Directors of the Riley Park Hillcrest CCA, in addition to Mr. Charko and Dr. Bomke, include TEAM member Jennifer Palma, community activist Will O'Brien, former CCA Presidents Teresa Whitehouse and Marion Waterston, Dianne Wiedemann, Grant Macfarlane, Kathryn Marshall, Robert Bisbicis, Eli Zbar, Jaimini Thakore, Ronald (Ying Nin) Leung, and Jennifer West.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at June 28, 2014 1:52 PM in Vancouver


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