City requires Kiwanis to agree to conditions by July 31
At risk is Kiwanis’s management contract for city-owned castle
(Written for Town Crier July 29. Aug 4 UPDATE.)
With a city-imposed deadline fast approaching, Kiwanis and the city don’t appear to be any closer to a deal regarding the future management of Casa Loma.
The mayor, some councillors, and city staff expressed frustration at last month’s council, saying the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma has not made more progress on its contract obligations to fix up the landmark castle’s interior.
City council voted July 7 to give Kiwanis until the end of the month to agree in writing to four key issues: establish a staff working group, have the castle’s board meet monthly, develop an updated financial plan (to fulfill contract agreements) and remove the current board chair Richard Wozenilek.
In a statement sent to the Town Crier, Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma said they are asking the city for an independent mediator.
“While we do not agree withany of the city’s unfounded allegations, we look forward to getting on with the dispute resolution process in good faith,” read a statement Kiwanis sent the Town Crier July 29.
“The Kiwanis Club has also prepared its own list of concerns about the city’s conduct, which we would like to have addressed in the dispute resolution process,” according to the statement.
On top of that, they are standing by the board chair Wozenilek, who the mayor has already asked be removed.
“The Kiwanis Club continues to maintain its full support behind Mr. Wozenilek as Chair of the Casa LomaBoard, and it understands the members of the Board also fully support him,”stated Kiwanis.
But the city is steadfast in its position to stay the course.
“We are still working with city council’s directive that gives Kiwanis until the end of the month,” city spokesperson Patricia Trott said July 29.
Kiwanis has until the end of day July 31 to agree to council’s directive.
If they don’t, the city will consider canceling the current 20-year contract to manage the castle. Kiwanis has overseen the city asset since 1937.
By the way, the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma’s press statement was sent to me at the Town Crier July 29 at 11:30 am. After doing follow-up interviews, I filed the story and it was edited and posted online at 6 pm on my blog and the Town Crier’s. I got an email at 6:30 pm yesterday, which I saw in my inbox today that Casa Loma sent me the statement by mistake. They didn’t ask me to take it down and certainly they took seven hours between sending the statement and writing to say it was a mistake. At any rate, they promise to comment after the city’s July 31 deadline of this Sat. So stay tuned. I will be writing an update next week.