“I am passionate about parks and recreation facilities, and alarmed at the deterioration in both their physical state and the climate of cynicism towards public involvement displayed by the Vision-majority Park Board and Council.”
Anita Romaniuk grew up on Vancouver Island and has lived in Vancouver for 34 years. She graduated from the University of Victoria (Science) and U.B.C. (Business Administration) and works as a financial systems programmer/analyst. Anita first ran for COPE in 1993 and was one of the team of five women who formed the majority on the Park Board in 2002-2005. She was Chair of the Park Board in 2004 and Chair of the Finance Committee from 2003 to 2005. In addition to her involvement with COPE, Anita has also been active in the New Democratic Party, serving as Provincial Council representative for Vancouver-Fairview from 1997 to 2001, Vancouver-Langara’s Treasurer since 2006, and was twice a candidate for the BC NDP in 2001 and 2005.
Anita’s experience in community service includes six years on the Board of Douglas Park Community Association, and an additional six years as a member of their Arts Committee and the Park Improvement and Heather Park Committees. Since 2006, she has been a member of the Mount Pleasant Community Association’s Pool Committee (still advocating for the replacement of their outdoor pool!) and was a founding member of the Vancouver Society for Preservation of Outdoor Pools in 2009. She joined the Board of Directors for the “Save Our Parklands” Association in 2008, and has served as its President since November 2011.
“I’ve been an advocate for Parks & Recreation issues for more than 20 years, and my passion remains strong, but more urgent. There are two main issues in this election. The first is the appalling failure of the current municipal governments, both Park Board and City Council, to respectfully engage with the people who they represent, and be accountable to them in their decisions. The second is the failure of the Park Board’s Operating and Capital Budgets to keep up with the growth in Vancouver’s population. The Operating Budget, which funds services, has been cut by more than $10 million. Many of our community centre and recreation facilities are aging, and some, such as neighbourhood outdoor pools, have been closed. The addition of new park space has been scant, delayed, or subverted, failing to remedy either historically park-deficient areas or provide additional parks for newcomers.”
“As a member of the public attending Park Board meetings for the first time over 12 years ago, I found Anita Romaniuk to be the most interested in what the public had to say. She listened, asked questions, and came back to the speakers with a wealth of information. If she did not have the answers at her fingertips, she would do the research and respond to her constituents at a later time. She pushed to turn promises into action, instead of taking the easy way out by saying ‘we can’t do that’. Her knowledge, inquisitiveness, responsiveness and reliability have no rival.”
Margery Duda – President of the Vancouver Society for Promotion of Outdoor Pools