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THE VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 79. November 2, 2006
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
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CITY COUNCIL PROPOSES CHANGES TO MAYORS PROPOSED 2007-2008 BUDGET

Mayor Greg Nickels announced his proposed 2007-2008 City budget on Monday, Sept. 25.

Since then, the City Council has held a couple of public hearings, met with Parks staff, and proposed some adjustments to the budget. The Councils final decisions and votes will occur next week, on Nov. 7-9. Final adoption of the budget will happen on Monday, Nov. 20.

For more information about the City Council process please visit www.seattle.gov/council.

Here are a few of the highlights of the Councils proposed changes:

Park Rangers Elimination
The Council proposes to cut the proposal to hire, train and deploy Park Rangers and the Seattle Police overtime intended support the Rangers ($406,000 reduction in 2007). The Rangers are the key public safety component of the Mayors Center City Initiative to revitalize downtown parks. The uniformed but unarmed Rangers (the equivalent of five full-time staff members) would work with the Seattle Police Department to patrol downtown parks, welcome visitors, and help enforce park-related laws, issuing citations when necessary. The Mayors City Center Parks Task Force, with representatives from downtown businesses, community groups and residents, developed this proposal and determined it would be the best and most cost-effective strategy to reduce illegal and inappropriate behavior in downtown parks.

4th Tree Crew Cut
The Council proposes eliminating a proposed fourth tree crew ($584,844 in 2007). Parks currently deploys three tree crews, one of which is funded through the Pro Parks Levy. As part of the Citys Urban Forest Management Plan, the fourth crew would allow Parks to go from tree pruning on an 18-year cycle to pruning on a 13-year cycle. This reduction would threaten implementation of the forest management plan. Industry standards suggest tree pruning on a 5-7-year cycle.

Cut Increase in Graffiti Response
The Council proposes eliminating increased funding for our departments response to graffiti in our parks and facilities ($286,000 in 2007). The funding would have allowed Parks staff to respond to all graffiti incidents within 48 hours. Currently Parks provides 48-hour response time at a 67% level.

Additions to Budget
The Council proposed two major additions to our budget:

  1. Late Night Program: an added $201,000 in 2007 to restore three nights of programming that would have been cut, plus associated Police coverage.
  2. Specialized Programs: an added $204,000 in 2007 to provide for staffing to expand summer program for persons with disabilities and to expand the school-year program in the underserved areas of southeast and southwest Seattle.

 

For details about the Mayor's 2007-08 Proposed Budget, including the Capital Improvement Program, please see www.seattle.gov/mayor/issues/budget.

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