Feb 23, 2011

Parks Survey

Seattle Parks Foundation and their partners are asking for our input on a how we should address the chronic funding shortfall faced by Seattle’s park system.  They have prepared a short survey here to voice your opinion, as well as a webpage where you can download a copy of the report.  Since the results of the survey are available to those who take it, it is not only a great opportunity to voice your opinion on this important issue (and maybe win a $50 REI gift card!) but also to see what others have to say.  Please take a moment to share your opinion now.  Thank you!

1 comment:

moderator said...

Many of us have seen a message from the Seattle Parks Foundation with a “survey” on parks financing that unfortunately is written to encourage premature endorsement of a number of “solutions” that would do real harm to our parks by removing them from the public’s control through unaccountable new entities. The survey refers to a seriously flawed report (at http://www.seattleparksfoundation.org/Sustaining_Parks.html).
While there are good things in the report (especially its analysis of the financial needs of our parks and how the Mayor and City Council have increasingly starved them of funds), its rosy picture of the parks under future special districts and privatization is a dangerous distraction from getting our Mayor and City Council to better protect parks in their budget decisions.

I suggest that the survey be avoided until the options are better analyzed in a revised report and more fairly described in a future survey. The report’s most serious flaw is its advocacy for a Seattle “Metropolitan Park District,” a state chartered entity that (like the ill-fated Monorail Authority) wouldn’t be bound by the Seattle City Charter, ordinances, regulations, City boards (including the Park Board), or any of the other protections for our parks that Seattle has built up over more than a century. I’ve put together an analysis of the report for Parks and Open Spaces Advocates that you can find at http://seattlefederation.blogspot.com (web site of the Seattle Community Council Federation). If you have trouble locating my analysis, would like it e-mailed directly to you, or have questions or suggestions, please contact me. Let’s all work toward a future for our parks that is financially secure but also does not undermine the public’s ability to access and protect them!

Chris Leman
cleman@oo.net or (206) 322-5463