Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma misses city’s July 31 deadline
City demanded a written agreement to fix outstanding disputes
Government could revoke operating agreement with Kiwanis
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Aug 4 for Town Crier.)
The city is weighing its options now that Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma has failed to respond in writing to a series of demands for major changes to the way the group runs the historic building by the July 31 deadline.
“Council required a written response to specific actions in writing,” said city spokesperson Patricia Trott on the afternoon of Aug. 4. “That written response to the city’s direction never happened.
“The city is still reviewing its options.”
Kiwanis has managed the city-owned asset since 1937 and is currently in the second-year of a 20-year contract. That agreement is in jeopardy as the city is not happy with Kiwanis’ progress on internal capital improvements agreed to in the contract.
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 a financial plan and remove the current board chair Richard Wozenilek.
When city council voted on this issue a month ago, it also stipulated it may end the contract with Kiwanis if the organization didn’t meet these requirements in writing by July 31.
None of those conditions have been agreed to in writing by Kiwanis by the deadline, councillor Joe Mihevc said this afternoon.
“The castle is owned by the city for the benefit of Torontonians not by Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma. That fact seems to elude them,” said Mihevc a non-voting member of the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma board and the councillor for the castle’s ward.
Kiwanis issued a press release yesterday, but the same statement was sent to the Town Crier and posted online July 29.
In that statement, Kiwanis is asking the city to agree to an independent mediator and has steadfast refused to remove the current board chair Wozenilek.
Joachim Gerschkow president of Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma told the Town Crier today, “We formulated a press response. We are waiting for the city’s response as to what the city’s planning.”
“As of this date, we haven’t heard back from the city. When we spoke to (City Manager) Joseph Pennachetti last week he indicated the city could respond some time this week,” Gerschkow added.
No one would officially speculate on what the city’s next step will be. But one option is that city staff prepare a report on the options for the city’s Executive Committee’s August 16 meeting. If that happens, it would then go to city council’s August 25-26 meeting for a vote on what action to pursue.