Mayor McGinn, Councilmember Bagshaw announce
formation of Parks Preservation Work Group
Work Group charged with generating options to protect Seattle parks in the face of deep budget challenges
SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn and City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw today announced the formation of the Parks Preservation Work Group, charged with advising the Mayor, City Council and Parks and Recreation on a range of options for generating more revenue and finding efficiencies that could reduce costs in the 2013 operating budget and beyond.
” Seattle’s love for parks is part of what makes our city special,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “And with our challenging city budget, we need to think outside of the box if we are going to protect our parks system. I look forward to the recommendations of the Parks Preservation Work Group.”
The impetus for creation of the group is Parks’ challenges sustaining its operating budget in the wake of new parks and facilities built with funding from voter-approved levies, and in the face of continuing budget reductions. Parks’ budget has been reduced by some $12 million over the past two years. There is a clear need to put the agency’s budget on a more sustainable track.
“Our parks system is world renowned; it helps define who we are. I want to ensure that we have the best operated and maintained parks system of any in our country. This committee will help us achieve that,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.
The Parks and Recreation values the City wishes to preserve are access, opportunity and
sustainability. The working group will:
- Review Parks and Recreation’s existing array of revenue sources;
- Review revenue enhancing examples from other jurisdictions;
- Assess the pros and cons of revenue and restructuring opportunities; and
- Develop recommendations to be considered in the 2013 City budget process.
The group’s process will result in the development of specific recommendations for expanding Parks’ funding sources and/or restructuring the agency’s work, and an increased public awareness of the need for new funding sources and understanding of the group’s recommendations.
The group will meet four times, on April 20 and 27 and May 4 and 11 at 7:30 a.m. in the Park Board Room at the Parks Administration Building at 100 Dexter Ave. N. At the conclusion of the meetings, Parks staff will prepare a summary document that identifies options, highlights potential revenue increases and/or cost savings, and describes a process for public review and possible implementation for each option.
The group members are:
- Thatcher Bailey, Seattle Parks Foundation
- Jerry Everard, Attorney, Groff Murphy
- Ian Gordon, Union Local 1239
- Bill Keller, Associated Recreation Council
- Diana Kincaid, Board of Park Commissioners
- Brice Maryman¸ Board of Park Commissioners
- Beth Purcell, Seattle Parks Foundation Board member
- Barbara Wright, Board of Park Commissioners
- Jerry Tone, Seattle Parks Foundation Board President