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29-Mar-2014 Mayssan [9551]

From the CELOS Governance and The Commons: Trillium Project - 2010 - 2012:

The three new community kitchens had wide use in their first season, as did the two new skate lending operations. In the fall of 2012, after quite a few meetings, cash-handling for three of four community cafe/ skate lending operations was transferred to the city. Our group initiated the transfer but had some strong doubts about the city’s cash-handling system. Rather than keep trying (unsuccessfully) to make the case for a more collaborative approach, we took the transfer as an opportunity for empirical research, to document the effects of the city’s cash-handling methods when applied in practice. In the first ten weeks after the transfer of cafes and skate-lending at Dufferin Rink, revenue from these two activities decreased by $18,500 (i.e. by approximately 40%). The skate lending programs at all three rinks began to shrink. Collaboration among on-site staff and community users was declared a conflict of interest unless staff stayed strictly “on message.” Since part of the city management message was that cafes and skate lending were not a legitimate part of the “business” of parks, this meant that the funds raised in this way were not to be applied to promoting free pick-up sports in these or other parks. We want to follow up with a slide show/video to document the problematic cash-handling processes, and possible remedies.