11th Hour Cancellation of Park Naming Vote Indicates Political Interference at Park Board
Posted: Mar 26, 2012
Vancouver, BC (March 26, 2012)
As questions began to mount from community leaders and the political opposition about current Board's attempt to alter a four year old park naming policy, the Vancouver Park Board has suddenly dropped the vote from tonight's board meeting agenda. NPA Commissioner John Coupar says it's even further indication that Park Board staff are getting political pressure from the Vision majority.
"We have a solid policy on park naming, hammered out just four years ago after extensive community consultation, and approved across party lines. And then we were asked to change this policy," says NPA Commissioner John Coupar. "But after questions were raised they pulled the motion at the 11th hour. This looks like another attempt at damage control, and it's regrettable that Park Board staff are being dragged into it."
This recent withdrawal of a political policy decision follows on the heels of a previous vote against the removal of budget for lifeguards in the face of public opposition. A pattern is emerging, say members of the NPA opposition, of a Vancouver Park Board that lacks good political judgment.
"If not for the public coming forward and raising concerns," says NPA Park Commissioner Melissa De Genova, "I think we'd be stuck with some really bad decisions. I'm grateful for all of those people who speak up for parks. Unfortunately, the park naming policy changes are yet another example of how the Park Board's independence is being compromised."