The View From Denny Park
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
No. 31. November 22, 2002
A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
The View from Denny Park: News and Views from the Superintendent
CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS BUDGET
The City Council passed the Citys 2003-2004 budget on Nov.
18. The total budget is $2.85 billion for 2003 and $2.61 billion
for 2004. The General Fund (derived from tax revenues) is $638 million
for 2003 and $655 million for 2004.
But these numbers tell only part of the story. The key figure all
along has been the projected $60 million shortfall in General Fund
revenues, which grew to $63 million when 2003 revenue estimates
were updated in early November. Seattle Parks and Recreation and
other City departments were forced to cut spending and increase
fees. Please see the Oct.
2 edition of The View from Denny Park for a detailed summary
of the Departments budget reductions as proposed by the Mayor
and submitted to City Council in late September.
In its review of the biennial budget, the City Council made additional
changes to the Departments budget, including $500,000 in ongoing
service cuts. This is in addition to the $4.4 million in cuts
included in the proposed budget. The most significant Council
adjustments are summarized below.
- Close one north end swimming beach for a savings of $41,000.
- Reduce funding for the Late Night Recreation Program by $25,000.
- Delay opening the Sand Point Community Center from spring to
fall 2003, saving $50,000.
- Reduce seasonal grounds maintenance spending by $75,000, representing
about 2,500 hours.
- Eliminate a carpenter apprentice and a warehouser position
for a savings of $75,000.
- Reduce a full-time capital planning position to half-time and
reduce the property management unit budget, for a combined savings
Revenue (Fee) Increases
||2002 Adopted Fee
|Youth swimming lessons
|Youth field game fee
| Ballfield scheduling (grass)
|Ballfield scheduling (all-weather sand)
|Ballfield scheduling (synthetic)
Changes in Capital Improvement Plan
- Add $579,000 in funding for the Olympic Sculpture Park waterfront
connection project to Lower Queen Anne, for a total 2003 allocation
of $1.26 million. The total project cost is $2.15 million.
- Eliminate $150,000 in funding for the minor ballfield capital
program in 2003, and resume the program in 2004.
Changes to the Neighborhood Matching Fund
- The Council decided that Neighborhood Matching Fund grants can
no longer be used for property acquisition or for operations and
maintenance costs. The Council also established a funding cap
of $100,000 for any one large project (including all phases).
COLMAN PARK TREES
Earlier this month, I sent a letter to King County Prosecuting
Attorney Norm Maleng urging full prosecution for the destruction
in August of more than 100 large trees and related habitat in Colman
Park. As Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation, it
is my duty to protect the property of the City, I wrote. The
illegal acts committed in Colman Park are a direct challenge and
affront to this duty. The Department and the citizens of Seattle
cannot allow such wanton destruction and obvious lack of concern
for public property to go unpunished. Without strong prosecution
in this case, the ability of our agency to protect our property
will be significantly weakened. Like the rest of you, we still
await word from the Prosecutors Office.
RAVENNA CREEK DAYLIGHTING DECISION
In mid-October, I directed the Ravenna Creek Daylighting Project
team to make improvements to the creek without costly retaining
walls or the removal of trees. This option daylights
the creek (brings it to the surface), around the existing ballfield
and leaves the baseball field where it is. In the future, this option
allows the creek to be fully daylighted if the ballfield is ever
relocated. My decision was a departure from the project option recommended
by the Board of Park Commissioners that would have relocated the
baseball field to the east; however I did follow the Boards
policy direction to both daylight the creek and honor current uses.
For more information about this Pro Parks Levy project, please contact
project manager Virginia Hassinger at (206) 233-7936 or email@example.com
HOMER HARRIS PARK DONATION
It couldnt have happened to a more deserving man. A generous
and anonymous benefactor donated $1.3 million to the Seattle Parks
Foundation this month for the purchase and development of a park
in the Central Area to be named after Dr. Homer Harris, a retired
Seattle dermatologist and star football player at Garfield High
School and the University of Iowa. On Nov. 13, we were delighted
to honor Dr. Harris with a community celebration of the donation
attended by Mayor Greg Nickels, park neighbors, and friends and
family of the accomplished and humble doctor. Once the transaction
is complete, the Parks Foundation will transfer the funding to the
City for the creation of a neighborhood park at the 24th and Howell
St. location. For more information about this park, please contact
public information specialist Catherine Anstett at (206) 615-0386
Last month, I denied a request from the Kalakala Foundation and
the Maritime Heritage Foundation to temporarily moor the historic
ferry Kalakala at South Lake Union Park. The proposal was not consistent
with a City Council resolution, adopting the parks master
plan. Temporary moorage is intended for such special events such
as the Tall Ships Festival or the Festival of Wooden Boats. I pledged
to work with the Kalakala Foundation to find a permanent home for
the Kalakala on the Seattle Central Waterfront, once the vessel
NAME FOR NEWEST COMMUNITY CENTER
Earlier this month, I announced that the name of the new community
center in the International District will be the International
District/Chinatown Community Center. Located at 8th Ave. S.
and S. Dearborn St., the new center will be part of the International
District Village Square (IDVS) Phase II project that is being developed
by the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and
Development Authority. Phase II will also include a branch of the
Seattle Public Library, family housing, offices, retail space and
parking. Project construction broke ground in a colorful ceremony
on Nov. 15 and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2004.
The Parks Naming Committee was unanimous in its recommendation
to me after careful consideration of the neighborhoods recent
history and other facility names in the area. We appreciated receiving
the many thoughtful suggestions for names, and we are excited about
being part of this vibrant and vital development. The community
center portion of the facility is funded by the 1999 Community Center
Levy, the Pro Parks Levy Opportunity Fund, and funds raised by SCIDPDA.
For more information about the project, please contact project manager
Toby Ressler at (206) 615-1482 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTHGATE DESIGNERS NAMED
Northgate Community Center is another new community center funded
by the Community Center Levy that will be co-located with a branch
library. Last month, the Library Board and I jointly selected ARC
Architects as the design consultants for the project. Located at
the old Bon Tire site on 5th Ave. NE across from Northgate Mall,
the 3.5-acre site will also include a new park, land purchased with
funding from the Pro Parks Levy. We anticipate completion of the
site plan in March 2003 and opening the park in the fall of 2005.
For more information, please call project manager Tim Motzer at
ARC OPPORTUNITY FUND GRANTS
In these lean budget times, every dollar is precious, and 11 grants
recently awarded by the Associated Recreation Council (ARC) were
ARC is a coalition of 37 citizen advisory councils that supplement
programming in Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers and
citywide recreation activities like rowing, senior programs, and
athletics. With funding support from member advisory councils, ARC
recently established the Advisory Council Opportunity Fund to provide
one-year grants. The 11 awards, totaling $83,327 will fund a variety
of programs and activities, including computer literacy, computer
labs, teen programming , environmental education, summer day camp,
playground program and support for senior programs. Many thanks
to the ARC and all participating advisory councils for this innovative
and much needed boost for programming! View
a list of award-winning projects.
For more information about the Advisory Council Opportunity Fund,
please contact Bill Keller, ARC Executive Director, at (206) 684-7083
WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE
What could be more relevant and timely than a series of events
that provide positive experiences for young people while directly
addressing the issue of violence? Leading off with a kickoff concert
at Golden Gardens Brick:House (newly renamed by the
kids), this years annual Week Without Violence, from Oct.
19 to 25, featured nearly 40 events that drew hundreds of teens
from all over the city to enjoy themselves and talk about violencehow
it permeates our neighborhoods, schools, and homes, and how we can
recognize its early symptoms, and reject messages that glamorizes
Finally, we were saddened by the loss of three special members
of the Parks and Recreation family--all in the space of one week
in late October. Roger Peter, a 38-year Parks employee most recently
the beloved coordinator at Montlake Community Center, passed away
after a long illness. A youth scholarship fund at Montlake has been
established in his name. Also passing away were longtime Parks volunteer
and advisory council member Fabiola Woods (Rainier Beach and Van
Asselt community centers) and martial arts teacher and youth mentor
Guy Kurose (Rainier Beach Community Center). In their own inimitable
ways, Roger, Fabiola and Guy each made extraordinary, lasting contributions
to the life of their communities. We will miss them dearly.
I will be in touch soon.