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Committee Wrap-up 8.1.2013: DPR Superintendent’s Report; Appointment of Mazohra Thami to the Park Board; and Two SLI Responses

It’s August already and the Parks and Neighborhood Committee (PaN) is celebrating this beautiful summer.

 On August  1st, Councilmembers Godden, Rasmussen and I received a thorugh Director’s Report  from Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams of the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).  Here are the highlights:

Acting Superintendent Williams reported on downtown park issues, the Leschi and Lakewood Moorages public meeting, and the Parks Legacy Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC).

  1.  Downtown Park Safety Issues:  Last week, DPR convened a meeting with downtown stakeholders, including the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA),the Chamber of Commerce, and Park Board members, to discuss the DSA’s concern about street violence, and DPR’s response for managing downtown parks. The meeting’s focus was to identify useful tactics for addressing public safety issues.

occidental 2.  Leschi and Lakewood Moorage:  DPR is holding another public meeting on Wednesday, August 14th about the Leschi and Lakewood Moorage Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The meeting is a chance for community members and tenants to learn about the process and have a conversation with knowledgeable staff members. Review the details here.

  1.  3. Citizen’s Advisory Committee:  The CAC continues its work on a possible ballot measure for Seattle Parks next fall. The committee has met twice and is continuing to separate the “musts” from the “wants.” My goal is to prioritize deferred maintenance and future operations for the parks we already have.  The CAC is helping consider the items that will appear in the ballot measure in 2014 and to keep the public well informed along the way. Thanks for all the hard work CAC members!  Stay tuned for updates throughout the year.

Get Engaged:  

We had the pleasure of meeting Mazohra Thami and recommended her confirmation to the Park Board of Commissioners.  Mazohra is an architecture student at UW with a passion for outside space. She will fill the “Get Engaged” position on the Park Board. This is a program between the City of Seattle and the YMCA that places young (18-29 year-old) leaders on public Boards and Commissions.  It is a fabulous opportunity for our emerging leaders and for those who serve on the committees. Learn more about Get Engaged here.

 C.F. 313162         Appointment of Mazohra Thami as member, Board of Park Commissioners.

SLI Responses:

Next, Acting Superintendent Williams responded to two Statements of Legislative Intent (SLI) that arose from last fall’s 2013-2014 budget process: A report on the Volunteer Park Conservatory revenue stream and an update on Community Center usage.

Conservatory1During the 2013 budget deliberations, the Council made the tough decision to cut a gardener position at the Conservatory and we asked DPR to track the revenue it generated from admission and rental fees and the standards of maintenance at the Conservatory.  In response, DPR has made changes to the Conservatory to make it more attractive to rental parties, and has installed pay stations to collect admission payments to increase revenue. Although the Conservatory has not yet met expectations for revenue, DPR believes that it can work out the kinks with the vendor machines and rent the space more frequently which will help the department meet the revenue goals. Please visit the Volunteer Park Conservatory and tell us what you think about the changes!

conservatory2 Finally, DPR gave the PaN Committee members an update on the People Counters which the department installed during the last year in all the community centers across the city. The purpose was to gather data on how many visits each community center receives to help determine if the geographic model used by DPR is successful in providing useful services to people around the city. DPR presented data from the Summer and Fall of 2012. Check out the progress report here. The final report will appear before committee in September.

Please join us in person or online for the next Parks and Neighborhoods Committee scheduled at a special time this  Friday, August 9th at 2:00 p.m.     

Please read the agenda of the August 1st PaN Committee meeting here and check out Seattle Channel’s video of the meeting here.

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