Tag: commissioners

    City wants local voices on NPC board

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The city wants two vacancies on the Niagara Parks board of commissioners to be filled by local residents and not “provincial bureaucrats” from outside the region. Read More…

    NPC looking for ‘honesty’

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Pinocchio need not apply to the Niagara Parks Commission.

    Honesty, integrity and independence have been added as qualifications expected of future commissioners as the Ontario government prepares to fill six vacancies on the agency responsible for running the public parks and attractions along the Niagara River.

    Chairwoman Fay Booker said it was her “suggestion” to add the new criteria to improve the wording in previous ads.

    “There was some tweaking of it again this time around. Every time we do it, there’s some more tweaking,” she said.

    More Niagara Parks Commission news

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    Wow! What is going on over there?! For the last 2 weeks there has been story after story after story about problems at the Niagara Parks Commission. On Monday the dismissed 4 of the commissioners. Here are some accompanying news stories:

    ‘It’s time to change it all up,’ says Gale – Niagara Falls Review
    Gale says shake-up at NPC step in the right direction – Niagara Falls Review
    Decision to remove commissioners helps move the NPC ‘forward,’ says Booker – Niagara Falls Review
    Parks housecleaning shows agency serious about moving forward: Booker – Bullet Media
    Officials look to the future for Niagara Parks – Niagara Falls Review

    Rink back from the brink

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Rink at the Brink is back from the brink after the Niagara Parks Commission voted Tuesday to give the winter attraction a second chance.

    Commissioners reversed a decision they made in August to terminate the agreement that allows the Winter Festival of Lights to operate an outdoor skating rink on public land near the Horseshoe Falls.

    “We really do want a win-win-win,” parks chairwoman Fay Booker said, adding the rink was a service to the community and to the lights festival.

    “But it also has to be a win for the Niagara Parks.”

    NPC to consider second chance for Rink at the Brink

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Rink at the Brink could get a new lease on life Tuesday after the Niagara Parks Commission threatened to kill the attraction after logistical problems in its first year.

    Commissioners are expected to vote during Tuesday’s board meeting on a report that would allow the Winter Festival of Lights to run the outdoor skating rink near the Horseshoe Falls again, but impose some new conditions about clean up at the end of the season.

    Second chance for rink

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Rink at the Brink might see another winter after Niagara Parks Commission and Winter Festival of Lights officials smoothed over some of the commission’s concerns about the fledgling tourist attraction’s first season.

    “We are cautiously optimistic the parks commission board will approve the rink operating within the parks’ land this year as they did last year,” said Winter Festival of Lights manager Dino Fazio after a lunch meeting with parks chairwoman Fay Booker and vice-chairwoman Janice Thomson.

    They got together Tuesday because the parks commission in August put the festival on notice it might not renew the lease it gave the festival last year to run a temporary, open-air skating rink near the Horseshoe Falls.

    The festival operated the rink, which is about two-thirds the size of an NHL rink, but it was assembled on parks land.

    Parks commissioners were upset the rink wasn’t dismantled until July, despite festival assurances it would be gone in April.

    ‘Eyes on the road’ at NPC, chairwoman Booker says

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Running the Niagara Parks Commission should be like driving a bus, says Fay Booker, the provincial agency’s new chairwoman, whose reputation for helping corporations understand how they govern themselves appears to be one of the reasons she landed the job.

    General manager John Kernahan should be the driver and the 12 government- appointed commissioners should be like well-informed passengers who have chartered him to take them where they want to go, but watch the road to make sure they get there.

    “I expect the general manager to be driving the bus,” Booker said in an interview last Wednesday, the day her appointment became official. “But the board will be on the bus and will have given direction of where we expect to be going.”

    NPC holds speakers to 5 minutes

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Five minutes isn’t enough time to explain complicated legal or financial positions during Niagara Parks Commission meetings, says James Bannister, a consultant and member of the Preserve Our Parks group that monitors what goes on at the commission.

    During their monthly meeting Friday, commissioners adopted a five-minute time limit for presentations from members of the public. How long and how often to let members of the public address commissioners is one of the issues members of the provincial agency responsible for the land and attractions along the Niagara River had to come to terms with as a result of their December decision to hold their meetings in public.

    Bannister, a retired lawyer, looked at his watch while acting chairman Archie Katzman read a two-page report.

    “It took him four and a half minutes to get through that and he was kind of skimming. That shows you the limits of what you can get done in five minutes,” Bannister said.

    Parks open for business

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    When Archie Katzman banged a gavel on the wooden table promptly at 10 a.m., it signalled to about 40 spectators the start of a new era for the Niagara Parks Commission.

    The open era.

    For the first time in its 124- year history, members of the public were allowed to watch commissioners in action. It was standing room only in a committee room at Oak Hall, prompting Katzman, the acting chairman who has been on the commission since 1971, to comment on how many people were interested enough to attend the first meeting.

    “We did not expect to see this many people,” said Katzman, who has filled in as chairman since Jim Williams resigned in December.

    Commissioners are “encouraged” by the interest in the goings-on at the commission, which is responsible for preserving, promoting and enhancing the area around Horseshoe Falls and the land along the Niagara River, he added.

    To accommodate the crowd, the meeting was moved from the boardroom at the Portage Road office to a larger committee room. Staff put out wooden folding chairs -the kind that are comfortable for about an hour – as a visitors gallery.

    Full house at historic NPC meeting

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It was standing room only at Oak Hall Friday where several dozen people crammed into a committee room for the first public meeting of the Niagara Parks Commission in its 124-year history.

    “We did not expect to see this many people,” said acting chairman Archie Katzman. Commissioners are “encouraged” by the public’s interest in the goings-on at the provincial agency which is responsible for preserving, promoting and enhancing the area around Horseshoe Falls and the land along the Niagara River.

    Members of the 12-member board voted in December to make their meetings open to to the public, following a government initiative to make its agencies more transparent.

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