Vancouver Park Board meeting tonight could be a bore

Monday, September 21 Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, 7 pm, Park Board Office, 2099 Beach ave.

While the agenda on Monday’s Park Board Meeting may not be the most exciting ever posted, think of the debates of whales in captivity and the expansion of the Aquarium, there will be something of a buzz at the meeting given the bombshell last week when the General Manger of the Board, Susan Mundick offered her letter of retirement which was accepted.
link to agenda for the meeting

On Monday, September 14 at a special staff briefing of Park Board Commissioners, the General Manger unexpectedly announced that she was retiring. The general wisdom on her position as the “Great Helmsman” of the Board was that she would stay on until after the Olympics and then retire. After Vision’s sweep to a majority on all boards in the last election there was much speculation after Judy Rogers, the City Manger was replaced with Dr. Penny Ballem, about whether the Vision Park Commissioner would replace their General Manager? But it never happened. Somehow the case was never made on why the general manager should be replaced and it seems some sort of accord was work out between the board and her.

Why is the General Manager resigning now? Raj Hundal the Chair of the Board issued a statement on Tuesday September 15 praising Susan for her past hard work and accomplishments.The Chair’s Statement. In the statement Susan says: “I feel that leaving now is the right decision and the right time.”
The Chair’s statement goes on to say that Susan will stay on for the transition to a new manager. Not much clarity on why she is retiring now was offered.

Then on Friday September 18 there were media reports from a leaked email that the City manager “….describes Mundick’s traditional transition plans as “inappropriate” and demands that Mundick step back.”24 Hour story

Also on Friday there was a meeting between the City Manager, the General Manager of the Park Board, the Chair of Board and Commissioner Jasper. What happened at this meeting? Was another “transition plan” developed?

While retirements are common now as baby boomers are reaching the age where their priorities are shifting from work to another phase of life, the NPA is trying to spin a conspiracy theory where the very independence of the Park Board is being threatened.< a href=” http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1141607″>CKNW story</a>. One has to wonder how this party ever positioned itself as the “natural ruling” party of Vancouver, where now it seems that party is made up with the kind of people who exploit leaked emails and see a conspiracy behind every retirement. It would seem that NPA was committed to so little transparency and accountability when they had the majority on this Board and made many decisions in the backrooms and corridors that they are sure something is up. Think of the sham job of the Aquarium expansion process where the NPA change the requirement of a city referendum while the Chair of the board was a former staff of the aquarium. Hardly the stuff of good governance where a board who is responsible for being stewards of the Stanley Park gives up public land to its private interest of its boosters.

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