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Council News Release

9/14/2006  12:11:00 PM
Tatsuo Nakata, Della Office, (206) 684-8806
Neil Powers, Steinbrueck Office, (206) 684-8804

Councilmember David J. Della
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck

Councilmembers proposal would expand key advisory commission and make it more answerable to public concerns

SEATTLE Today, Councilmember David J. Della, Chair of the Councils Committee on Parks, Education, Libraries and Labor, announced he is proposing new legislation that would expand Seattles Board of Parks Commissioners and would provide some Council appointment authority in determining its composition.

The Parks Board is comprised of volunteers who spend hours listening to the public and studying parks issues. They serve in a critical advisory role, said Councilmember Della. This legislation will provide for greater input into the selection of citizens who shape the direction of park policies and decisions. This initiative is imperative to adding fresh perspectives and ultimately increasing public involvement.

The new legislation would expand the membership of the Board of Park Commissioners from seven to eight, and give the Council authority to nominate four members. The Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council and Superintendent of Parks. Currently all seven members are appointed by the Mayor. Seattle has several boards and commissions with varying compositions. Members of some boards and commissions are solely selected by the Mayor, while members of others are jointly selected by the Mayor and Council.

Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, who previously served as Chair of the Councils Parks Committee and is a co-sponsor of the legislation stated, The Parks Board plays a key role in serving the public and advising the Council. This proposal enhances accountability and transparency.

The Parks Department does a tremendous amount of work to engage the public and get feedback. But I think that this is an opportunity to strengthen accountability and public participation by increasing diversity in perspectives, Councilmember Della added.

The new legislation will be introduced Monday, September 18th and will be discussed and possibly voted on at the next meeting of the Councils Committee on Parks, Education, Libraries and Labor, scheduled for Wednesday, September 27th at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.


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