To the editor:
Re: "NPA attack on Jasper 'unbecoming,'" Letters, Oct. 3.
In regard to Commissioner Constance Barnes letter, I'd like to refresh her memory in regard to "Aaron Jasper's utmost attentiveness to all members of the public who come to speak to the Board."
The Vision-dominated park board took over the 2010 Olympic Venue at Hillcrest Park, and with the VPL board and the Riley Park Community Centre (RPCC) Association president Marion Waterston, developed a new library branch with a new community centre on top. The memorandum for this project unfortunately includes the demolition of the Riley Park Community Centre. Hillcrest Community Centre is much smaller then the RPCC, does not meet the needs of the community and is more a destination centre. Riley Park area citizens organized themselves to find a way to save the RPCC to fill the need of amenities. Hillcrest has no space for the arts and culture, seniors centre, a shortage for childcare.
We asked the Vision park board to grant us a six-month moratorium delay of the demolition to give us time to lay out our plan of operation of RPCC, financially independent from the park board, which we emphasized and made clear! Vision Park Board with Chair Aaron Jasper without any discussion turned down our request.
After the 2011 municipal election, Barnes became chair, Aaron Jasper vice-chair. Two NPA members, Melissa De Genova and John Coupar, put forward a motion in regard to our above rejected request because they are aware of the community need.
On Jan. 30, 2012, there was a park board meeting, which had our motion on the agenda. Twenty-one citizens spoke in favour of the motion. During the hearing, what Barnes calls Jaspers's "utmost attentiveness..." sure was not visible because he left the meeting for about 15 minutes. This, to us members of the public, appeared to be that he had made up his mind already. The Vision majority turned down the request for our needs.
Lisa Schwabe, Vancouver