Changes are in the works for the O’Keefe Ranch.
That includes a new management team which was introduced to city council Monday: Finance Director Caraleen MacLennan and Operations Director Cliff Jamieson.
Councillor Scott Anderson, who sits on the Interior Heritage Society board, says it’s all part of the Ranch moving towards self sufficiency.
“I’m not going to steal their thunder, but I will say that we’re changing the direction of the ranch to make it more self sufficient. That process is a slow, occasionally painful process,” Anderson tells Beach Radio News.
The City is reducing its annual grant to the ranch, which it owns, from $100,000 this year, to $50,000 next year, and to $10,000 in 2020.
The first $50,000 installment of this year’s subsidy was approved by council Monday.
“There is so much potential in that ranch. It’s a potential million dollar enterprise. What we’re doing is help it realize that potential,” says Anderson.
Mayor Akbal Mund says the new team in charge of the heritage site is weaning itself off government support.
“They just want to operate in a different way. And I know we’ve had concerns from some of the past people who were involved with the ranch, so we’ll be able to balance those concerns with the new direction of the ranch. We just want to make sure they’re successful,” Mund tells Beach Radio.
Councillor Catherine Lord, a former general manager at the ranch, was concerned about what she felt were less events listed for this year.
“I looked at it the other day and there was only a couple, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and I think a couple of family days, but there was nothing else. Usually it’s fairly robust,” said Lord.
“We have no intention of cutting back our events, ” said Sherrilee Franks, board vice president.