Good day! My name is Jason Upton and I’m an NPA candidate for Vancouver park board. I’m running to bring fiscal accountability, innovation, and independence to the Vancouver park board. I have the experience, knowledge, and creativity to be your representative on the parks board and I look forward to meeting with you throughout the campaign to discuss making our parks the best they can be.
I am a lifetime resident of Vancouver. I grew up in Point Grey and now reside in the West End. Since graduating from college, I have worked in the real estate industry, providing real estate appraisal services to members of the Vancouver community. In 2008, I started my own appraisal company and know firsthand the difficulties and issues of running a business. I want to bring my experience and knowledge of operating a business to the position of parks board commissioner.
As a small business owner, I have run my business by being fiscally prudent. I understand the importance of maintaining a budget and not overspending. Under the leadership of Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver, the park board has under-budgeted and overspent, leaving our parks in a fragile state. The poor budget management of Vision Vancouver has resulted in the petting zoo at Stanley Park being closed and the Bloedel Conservatory being placed on the chopping block as well.
Over the last three years city hall has cut the park board budget by $5 million. The park board commissioners have followed the whim of Vision Vancouver and have not offered up the slightest bit of protest. The independence of the park board under Vision Vancouver has disappeared. We deserve better. As a park board commissioner, I will work to restore funding to an appropriate level, ensuring that our natural treasures are maintained for the entire community to enjoy. As a parks board commissioner I will not be beholden to city hall. The parks board is elected by the people and is ultimately accountable to the people and not city hall. I will fight for parks board independence so that all of us may continue to enjoy our parks.
In my professional capacity, as a risk consultant, I routinely work with all levels of government and various stakeholders to find solutions to difficult problems. I want to bring this experience to the park board. I will work with all interested parties, including government, community organizations, the not-for-profit and the private sector to find innovative ways to increase fundraising opportunities for the park board. I will bring my knowledge of business best practices to the position of commissioner and work with the board to increase opportunities for growth.
As your park board commissioner I will work with other board members to maintain realistic budgets. I will be accountable to you for the money spent by the board and ensure that it enhances the park and recreational experience for all of us.
I am asking for you to support me in this election because I can make a positive difference as a park board commissioner.
Jason Upton is a Non-Partisan Association candidate for the Vancouver park board.