Title and statement of responsibility area
Open Data Catalogue : elected officials contact information : March 2013
General material designation
- Textual record
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Title statements of responsibility
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
Apr. 18, 2012 (Creation)
- Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Clerk
Physical description area
2 digital files (CSV, XLS) : 26.2 KB
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Archival description area
Name of creator
The basis for the authority of the City of Vancouver's City Council is the first Vancouver Act of Incorporation of April 6, 1886 enacted by the Government of the Province of British Columbia. The Act set out the powers, functions, and some procedures relating to the government of the City of Vancouver, and required election of a City Council, the governing body of the local government. Although the City of Vancouver funds the Library, the schools, and the parks, each of these have their own governing boards. The Act of Incorporation (more recently called the Vancouver Charter) has been amended frequently, and is periodically revised and consolidated. The Act has defined the increasing land parameters of Vancouver. In 1886 Vancouver extended from the West End and Alma Road in the west, to Nanaimo Street in the east, and 16th Avenue to the south. In 1911, District Lot 301 and the Townsite of Hastings were annexed (so that Vancouver then extended east to Boundary Road, and south to 25th and 29th Avenues in some areas of the eastern half of the city). Then in 1929, the municipalities of South Vancouver and Point Grey were amalgamated with Vancouver (to result in present-day boundaries to the south and west). City Council's powers may be exercised by by-law or resolution, according to the provisions of the Charter. Powers have included: creation and maintenance of "public works" (now often referred to as "the infrastructure"); land and building regulation; provision of police and fire protection; maintaining health standards; provision of cultural and recreation services; and tax collection through property taxes, business licenses, and other fees. Local government is responsible to the provincial government, according to the Municipal Act of British Columbia. Some of the relationships with provincial and federal government are intricate, as program requirements are legislated from above, and some program funding is provided by senior governments. The Mayor is the president of Council according to British parliamentary traditions. In order to carry out its functions Council has the authority to determine the internal organization of the governance and bureaucracy. Until 1956 Council was formally involved in all aspects of the operations of the City through the "Council Committee" system. The system was seen as increasingly cumbersome and ineffective, so the Board of Administration was created to take care of managing operations, all the bureaucracy's administrative and service functions except governance (as of 1974 the Board was replaced by the City Manager). Standing committees, as subdivisions of the major aspects of the business of Council, have always existed.
The responsibilities of the City Clerk were established with the Act of Incorporation in 1886, which declared the City Clerk to be the Returning Officer of the City (the official responsible for voters' lists and elections). Additional duties included purchasing supplies and were somewhat undefined. With the clarifications of the 1900 Act of Incorporation, formalized responsibilities included recording Council minutes, keeping custody of the by-laws, and maintaining financial records. The Clerk also received all mail directed to the City. A 1912 by-law assigned responsibility for facilitating communication between the citizens, the Mayor, Council, and Council's committees to the City Clerk. In a 1953 Act of Incorporation amendment, the Clerk was named as custodian of the City seal. With the exception of financial functions, which long ago passed to financial officers, the Clerk's responsibilities have remained remarkably consistent. The primary functions over time have been: taking minutes for the meetings of City Council and related bodies; keeping the records of the City of Vancouver as required by the Vancouver Charter; carrying out correspondence on behalf of Council; keeping all records related to City Council decision making (including large volumes of supporting documents); assembling voters' lists and carrying out elections (for Council, the Park Board, the School Board, and on plebiscites); providing communication, information, and public relations services, including responsibility for civic ceremonies; and, since 1970, responsibility for the Archives. From 1886 to 1974, the City Clerk reported directly to Council; from 1974 the position has been reporting to the City Manager's Office. Although the formal organization of the City Clerk's Department has in recent years consisted of a number of divisions - the Council secretariat, the Voters' List Division, periodically a small Public Relations / Communications Division, and the Archives and Records Division (since 1970) - in practice, the Office of the City Clerk has included all divisional sections except the Archives. During some periods the Office of the City Clerk was more commonly referred to as the City Clerk's Office, though the former has prevailed.
The following individuals have served as City Clerk:
Thomas Francis McGuigan, 1886-1905
Arthur McEvoy, 1905-1907
William McQueen, 1907-1931
Charles Jones, 1931-1935
W. L. Woodford, 1935
Fred Howlett, 1935-1945 (acting 1935-1937)
Ronald Thompson, 1945-1973
Douglas Haig Little, 1973-1978
Robert Henry, 1978-1987
Maria Kinsella, 1987-1997
Ulli Watkiss, 1998-2001
Syd Baxter, 2001-2008
Marg Coulson 2008- (acting 2008-2009)
For more historical information on the above bodies see the inventory for the City Council and the Office of the City Clerk fonds. Administrative histories for other creators in this fonds (e.g. Airport Board) are given at the series level.
For South Vancouver and Point Grey municipality Council, City Clerk's, and all other retained archival records dating from before amalgamation with the City of Vancouver in 1929, see the Corporation of the District of South Vancouver fonds and the Corporation of Point Grey fonds. The offices forming City Council, the mayor and aldermen (now called councillors), are arranged as the Mayor's Office fonds and the Councillors' office fonds.
Name of creator
The Board of Parks and Recreation has its origins in the granting of the 950 acre military reserve at First Narrows to the City for use as a park. The new park, named in honour of the current Governor General, Lord Stanley was formally opened in 1888. To control the operations of the park, Council appointed a Park Warden and a Park Committee to oversee the development and management of the park. In 1890, the Committee was replaced by a permanent elected body, the three person Board of Park Commissioners. The by-law which created the Board (no. 96) gave the Commissioners absolute control and management over the park system. It was expected to expend monies voted to it by Council and had the power to enter into contracts and pass by-laws. In 1896, the Board passed its first by-law "for regulations and government of the parks of the city," and appointed a Park Ranger. In 1904, the Park Ranger's title was changed to Superintendent of Parks. Although they were not defined in writing until 1929, the duties of the Superintendent were: to act as the administrative head and business manager and report directly to the Commissioners; to keep the minute books and books of account and generally supervise all employees; to prepare budget estimates and annual reports. In 1980 the title was changed to General Manager. Over its history, the Board has maintained the following functions: administration; beaches, pools and bathhouses; building services and maintenance; design and management of park development; engineering services; income operations; management of Zoo, Gardens and Conservatory; overall management; park forestry; parkland acquisition; parks maintenance and construction; poundkeeping; recreation and; relations with the public. Through several administrative reorganizations and evolving City priorities, the emphasis placed on the execution of these functions has changed. At incorporation, the acquisition of park land was paramount. Recreation programs became a strong priority between 1911 and 1935, reorienting the character of the Board in assuming a service function rather than concentrating on the acquisition of parkland. The relations with the public function became a strong focus for the Board, beginning in the late 1960s and continued to be a central focus in the 1990s. The Board is currently organized into the following divisions: Administrative and Revenue Services; Finance; Environment and Operations; Planning and Development; Recreation Services.
Over its history, the Board has been known under a variety of names:
- Committee on Works and Property (1887-1888);
- Parks Committee (1888-1889);
- Board of Parks Commissioners (1890-1955);
- Board of Parks and Public Recreation (1956-1973);
- Board of Parks and Recreation (1974 ).
The following individuals have served as Superintendent of Parks (subsequently General Manager):
- John Hurst, 1888-1889 in the position of Park Warden;
- Henry Avison, 1889-1896 in the position of Park Ranger;
- George Eldon, 1896-1903 in the position of Park Ranger, 1904-1910 in the position of Superintendent of Parks;
- A. Balmer, 1910-1913; W. S. Rawlings, 1913-1936;
- Allen S. Wootton, 1936-1943;
- Philip Bateman Stroyan, 1943-1960;
- Stuart B. Lefeaux, 1960-1979;
- Vic Kondrosky, 1979-1980 as Superintendent of Parks and 1980-1997 as General Manager;
- Susan Mundick, 1997-.
For a more detailed history, please consult the finding aid to the Board of Parks and Recreation fonds in the Archives' reading room.
Scope and content
File consists of datasets containing contact information for mayor, councillors, and park board commissioners serving during the term the datasets were created. Datasets are as they appeared on March 13, 2013.
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Use of data is governed by the Open Government Licence - Vancouver. See series description for details.
Copyright: City of Vancouver; expiry: 2063-01-01
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