BIA board can’t agree

People who sit on the board of  the Danforth Mosaic BIA are at odds with their visions of how the organization should be run. Following a contentious Annual General Meeting and election of new board members, the BIA accepted the recommendation of the Toronto/East York Community Council to appoint an additional three board members from the previous board. This recommendation followed a tie vote for the last position on the board, and increased the membership to 20 from 17.

“It’s not unusual for BIAs to expand their membership when there is an interest,” said Eva Pyatt, Director of Business Services for Toronto /East York Community Council. “In our opinion and professional judgment it was beneficial to include all three.” The four appointees were former board members Pat Silver, Jordan Ison, Victor Singh and Nick Sissakis.

However, that decision did not resolve the issues. A press release dated May 3 announced that these four members decided to resign “due to a change in strategic direction…”

“It’s an erosion of the marvellous progress we had made,” said Silver, who was the former Chair of the BIA. “In four meetings [held since the election of the new board] we didn’t see any carry through of the proposed projects.” Some of those projects included streetscape maintenance, the summer jazz festival, the outdoor movie night, contracted litter clean-up, and representation on the Community Police Liason Committee.

“We will continue to work to support local businesses and building owners,” said Silver. “But will no longer be associated with the direction of this board.”

The Danforth Mosaic BIA encompasses more than 500 businesses and building owners along the Danforth, from Jones to Westlake. The new chair, Litsa Kostouros, released a statement in which she and her fellow board members accepted the resignations of the four. The BIA has announced plans for a Family Fun Festival in June, an online business directory, and streetscape projects, and has appointed a new executive director.

“The board needs an opportunity to show what it can do,” said Pyatt. “One expectation is for the BIA to get going, rather than invest energy in conflict.”

You can find out more about the Danforth Mosaic BIA by visiting its website – www.danforthmosaicbia.com – or by calling 416-849-6688.


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