On the Road Again…

As some of you may know when I am not wearing my park board hat I work for a fabulous company, Rocky Mountaineer.  Business travel back east is taking me out of town for the next four days which means I will not be able to attend the Council meeting on Thursday night and speak against the cuts to the park board budget.  However I did send the following message to our Mayor and Council…hopefully they are listening.

Dear Mayor and Council,

Business travel will prevent me from attending the Council meeting on Dec 3 and speaking against the $2.8 million cut to the park board budget.

I have heard loud and clear from residents across the city that they are not in favour of the reduction to the park board budget and specifically the impact it has leading to the closure of the Bloedel Conservatory and Children’s Farmyard in Stanley Park.  I understand that the current operating model at both facilities cannot be sustained and changes need to be made.

I am asking for 60 days to allow staff to investigate alternate operating models and confirm if there is any interest from corporate sponsors and individuals who are prepared to make a sizable donation to either facility.

Case in point is Mr. Joseph Wosk who contacted me on Nov 25 and made a $100,000 commitment over four years to the operation of the Farmyard; $50,000 in 2010 and $50,000 from 2011 to 2013.  There is also an additional $50,000 that was willed from a generous benefactor to the operation and improvements to the Farmyard.  Surely there are other opportunities to pursue donations – we need additional time to allow individuals and corporations to come forward.

Thank you for your attention and consideration of my request.


Ian Robertson, Commissioner Vancouver Park Board

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