Vancouver COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock is rejecting recommendations by City staff to
cut $346,000 from the Park Board’s 2008 operating budget.
"This amount is just short of the Park Board’s average funding subsidy to each of the 22 neighbourhood community centres," said Woodcock. "Now we are being asked to cut the equivalent of one community centre out of our budget. Even the staff’s report concedes that the current budget is tight and requires careful monitoring of expenditures."
The budget recommendations will be debated at the February 25 meeting of the Park Board where the Board’s staff are recommending reductions to park and facility maintenance programs that include cutbacks in seasonal staffing. The 2008 Park Board operating budget is pegged at approximately $59 million.
"Meanwhile it is discouraging to see dollars wasted on Mayor Sam Sullivan’s pet projects – Eco-Density, Civil City and the Downtown Ambassador private security program – and then be told that Park Board should tighten it’s belt," said Woodcock. "Vancouver taxpayers have already spent $1.97 million on Eco-Density, Civil City and the Ambassador program."
Public consultations on the city budget go to City Council on April 1, with final operating budget approval coming to the Park Board by April 28. The 2008 costs of Eco-Density and Civil City are not indicated in city budget reports.