Vancouver Park Board
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, commonly referred to as the Vancouver Park Board, is the elected board with exclusive possession, jurisdiction and control over public parks in the City of Vancouver. Established by section 485 of the Vancouver Charter, the Vancouver Park Board is the only elected body of its kind in Canada. It has seven elected commissioners who are charged by the Vancouver Charter with determining the policy direction of the Park Board. The board has a mandate to "provide, preserve and advocate… to benefit people, communities and the environment." Commissioners are elected at-large every four years.
The current elected commissioners of the Vancouver Park Board are:
In June 2009, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver city councillor Raymond Louie, both of whom are members of the Vision Vancouver party, were accused by Vancouver city councillor Suzanne Anton, a member of the opposition Non-Partisan Association party, of attempting to destroy the independence of the park board by centralizing budget oversight. Aaron Jasper, a Vision Vancouver member of the park board, called on the city council to restore the decentralized budget control.
In September 2009 Susan Mundick, the general manager of the board, announced her retirement. Penny Ballem, the city manager of Vancouver hired by Mayor Robertson, stripped Mundick of all routine transitional duties. Ballem then stated she would help the park board choose Mundick's replacement, a selection process city hall traditionally had not been involved in. In response, Suzanne Anton urged Mayor Robertson and the city council to limit Ballem's control of the park board.
- Vancouver Charter, section 488.
- "Vancouver Park Board Commissioners", Vancouver City Website, Accessed September 4, 2009.
- "Mayor Gregor Robertson blamed for park board cut", Georgia Straight, June 11, 2009.
- "Outgoing park board manager proud of accomplishments", Vancouver Courier, September 18, 2009.
- "Mundick stripped of duties", 24 Hours, September 18, 2009.
- "NPA councilor says park board losing independence", CKNW, September 19, 2009.
- "Parks and Gardens".