Council committee takes driver’s seat in community centre initiative
A standing council committee will take the lead in determining how best to proceed with the Bowen Island Community Centre initiative, putting the Bowen Community Centre Implementation Committee (CCIC) on hiatus until its terms of reference are determined. At the Monday, December 17, council meeting, mayor Jack Adelaar, said, “The Community Centre Implementation Committee (CCIC) has put in many volunteer hours and has provided valuable input towards realizing a community centre on Bowen Island. As part of moving forward with the next steps for the community centre, I believe we are at an important stage where council needs to provide clarity, vision and direction to the CCIC.”
Adelaar said that, as a way forward, he established the Community Centre Standing Committee made up of councillors Daron Jennings, Cro Lucas, Tim Rhodes and himself and that CAO Kathy Lalonde and director of community recreation Christine Walker will provide staff support. “We are attempting to set a firm base of what we would like the Community Centre Implementation Committee to deal with,” Adelaar said. “In broad terms, the purpose of the Community Centre Standing Committee is to review and provide suggested changes to the terms of reference of the Community Centre Implementation Committee, liaise with the Finance Review Task Force and work with staff to move forward the rezoning of lot 2.” Adelaar made it clear that the CCIC is not disbanded and that the standing committee, after reporting back to council with recommendations and findings, will offer advice on the next steps. “We’ll provide support so that the Community Centre Implementation Committee can move forward with their vision that will hopefully be our vision as well,” Adelaar said, adding that council was not critical of the CCIC’s work but that establishing a standing committee is seen a way to “push forward more quickly.”
“We want to see if we can actually get something started this term,” he said.
Councillor Cro Lucas also commended the CCIC for the work that has been completed and said that “some clarity is needed before the fundraising can start.” He added that there has been some concern with the September 2013 date for “shovels in the ground.” Councillor Andrew Stone spoke in support of establishing a standing committee. “I believe the breadth of viewpoints on the [standing] committee will bring about a balanced result.” Councillor Wolfgang Duntz said he was happy with the outcome but would not retract his criticism of the committee’s work. “I was critical for good reasons,” he said.
CCIC chair Shari Ulrich called the formation of a standing committee “encouraging” and welcomed that level of focus on council but she expressed concern about the timeline. “I would love to see a fundraising committee started soon,” she said. “Three to four months [hiatus] seems like a long time. And I would also like to try and get some answers sooner rather than later.”