VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 54. September 28, 2004
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
Want The View from Denny Park
delivered to your
PARKS AND RECREATION BUDGET NEWS
Mayor Greg Nickels has made his final decisions regarding the 2005 proposed
budget, and I'd like to share with you some of the implications for Parks
For the last several years, the City's budget has been in decline. Revenue
shortfalls have forced the City to cut nearly $120 million from the General
Fund since 2002. This year alone, revenue shortfalls will force a cut
of an additional $20 million. For Parks, this has meant General Fund reductions
of more than $4.7 million.
That said, there is reason for optimism. Thanks to the generosity and
faith of Seattle voters, the 1999 Community Centers Levy and the 2000
Pro Parks Levy have enabled us to reopen two expanded community centers
and open one new one, as well as to acquire new park properties and develop
parks identified in neighborhood plans that will total almost 100 projects
by the end of the levy's life.
We've kept all our community centers, pools, environmental centers, small
craft centers, and the Tennis Center open, and have kept our summer beach,
playground, and wading pool programs afloat, albeit with some reductions.
We also increased the amount of funding available for summer day camp
scholarships for kids who need them.
In 2005 we will take the next steps to improve downtown parks and make
them more inviting to the people who live, work, and play downtown.
There are still cuts, however, and we will continue to look for creative
ways to do more with less, and to do it in a way that has the least possible
impact on park and recreation facility users.
In 2003, despite the reductions we have experienced since 2001, I heard
more kudos about how the parks look than in any year before. We took second
place and a gold award at the International Awards for Liveable Communities,
we lead the city in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
certifications, and our press coverage continues to show how much people
care about their parks and recreation facilities.
Throughout the budget process, the mayor focused on the four priorities
of his administration. These are priorities that I think we all share:
Get Seattle moving, create jobs and opportunity for all; keep our neighborhoods
safe; and build strong families and healthy communities. By focusing on
these priorities, the mayor has preserved the city's core services and
invested wisely in the future.
More information will follow.
I will be in touch soon.