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November 2013
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CityLink Seattle

Park funding measure investment initiatives available for review

The Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee (PLCAC), appointed to consider Seattle Parks and Recreation’s future funding options, has released a first draft of 37 newly prioritized investment initiatives (funding recommendations) that are being considered for a possible ballot measure in August 2014.

The newly prioritized list is available on the PLCAC website at:

http://www.seattle.gov/parks/legacy/files/subcommittee_preliminary_prioritization.pdf

Also, the Committee is considering what type of funding mechanism to use: short-term, long-term, levy or Metropolitan Park District. The committee has asked community members to attend a public hearing to comment on the initiatives and their prioritization, as well as on the funding mechanism options. The public hearing will take place Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 starting at 6 p.m. at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E.

To give verbal testimony at the hearing, community members must sign in. Testimony may be for up to two minutes. Sign-in begins at 5 p.m. The Associated Recreation Council will provide on-site childcare 5:30–9:30 p.m. for up to 20 children ages 5–12.

Written testimony carries as much weight as verbal testimony. To submit written testimony to the Committee, please send email to parkslegacy@seattle.gov or to Parks Legacy Comments, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle WA 98116.

The 37 investment initiatives proposed for inclusion in a future park funding ballot measure have been initially prioritized by three subcommittees: Existing Programs and Services, New Programs and Services and Partnerships.

The Committee seeks feedback from the community on the initiatives, and on the type of funding mechanisms being considered. Community members planning to attend the hearing may want to consider these questions beforehand:

  • What priorities should the committee consider as it makes recommendations for a ballot measure?
  • Should the ballot measure focus on maintaining core services like park restroom maintenance, trash and litter pickup, and keeping community center doors open?
  • Should the ballot measure focus on new projects that develop “land banked” sites and acquire new property?
  • Should the ballot measure concentrate on challenge grants like an Opportunity Fund for community-initiated projects and innovative new programs that encourage health and fitness?
  • Should the type of ballot measure recommended by the Committee be a levy? If so, for 6 years, 8 years, 12 years, or permanently?
  • Should the type of ballot measure recommended by the Committee be a Metropolitan Park District with its own taxing authority?

After the public hearing, the committee will Continue its work to prioritize the list of investment initiatives and evaluate funding mechanism options, with the goal of completing its preliminary recommendations by December. In January, the committee will host open houses throughout Seattle to hear additional public comments before the final prioritization.

In March 2014, the committee will forward its final recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.

Seattle Parks and Recreation manages a 6,200-acre park system of 465 parks and extensive natural areas. Seattle Parks provides athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, specialty gardens, and more than 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. Seattle Parks also manages many facilities: 26 community centers, eight indoor pools, four environmental education centers, two small craft centers, four golf courses, an outdoor stadium and much more. The Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee is asking for your input on how best to prioritize funding options for Seattle Parks’ extensive services and facilities.

The Mayor and City Council created the Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee to review the draft Parks Legacy Plan (http://www.seattle.gov/parks/legacy) and to propose options for funding operations and maintenance, park development and acquisition, and recreation facilities and programs. A revised edition of the Parks Legacy Plan: Draft Goals and Strategies can be downloaded from the project’s website.

Committee members are Barbara Wright, Co-Chair; Charlie Zaragoza, Co-Chair; Thatcher Bailey; Steve Daschle; Juli Farris; Bill Farmer; Thomas Goldstein; Jessie Israel; Diana Kincaid; Michael Maddux; Brice Maryman; Yalonda Gill Masundire; Mustapha Math; David Namura; and Erika Nuerenberg-Melroy.

For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/legacy/committee.htm .

For special meeting accommodations or interpretation services at the meeting, please contact Susanne Rockwell at susanne.rockwell@seattle.gov or 206-733-9702

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