The Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee (PLCAC), appointed to consider Seattle Parks and Recreation’s future funding options, has released a first draft of 37 newly prioritized investment initiatives (funding recommendations) that are being considered for a possible ballot measure in August 2014.
Also, the Committee is considering what type of funding mechanism to use: short-term, long-term, levy or Metropolitan Park District. The committee has asked community members to attend a public hearing to comment on the initiatives and their prioritization, as well as on the funding mechanism options. The public hearing will take place Thursday, November 7, starting at 6:00 pm at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E. (See separate Event notice.)
To give verbal testimony at the hearing, community members must sign in. Testimony may be for up to two minutes. Sign-in begins at 5:00 pm. The Associated Recreation Council will provide on-site childcare 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm for up to 20 children ages 5–12.
Written testimony carries as much weight as verbal testimony. To submit written testimony to the Committee, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Parks Legacy Comments, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle WA 98116.
The 37 investment initiatives proposed for inclusion in a future park funding ballot measure have been initially prioritized by three subcommittees: Existing Programs and Services, New Programs and Services and Partnerships.
The Committee seeks feedback from the community on the initiatives, and on the type of funding mechanisms being considered. Community members planning to attend the hearing may want to consider these questions beforehand:
- What priorities should the committee consider as it makes recommendations for a ballot measure?
- Should the ballot measure focus on maintaining core services like park restroom maintenance, trash and litter pickup, and keeping community center doors open?
- Should the ballot measure focus on new projects that develop “land banked” sites and acquire new property?
- Should the ballot measure concentrate on challenge grants like an Opportunity Fund for community-initiated projects and innovative new programs that encourage health and fitness?
- Should the type of ballot measure recommended by the Committee be a levy? If so, for 6 years, 8 years, 12 years, or permanently?
- Should the type of ballot measure recommended by the Committee be a Metropolitan Park District with its own taxing authority?
After the public hearing, the committee will Continue its work to prioritize the list of investment initiatives and evaluate funding mechanism options, with the goal of completing its preliminary recommendations by December. In January, the committee will host open houses throughout Seattle to hear additional public comments before the final prioritization.
In March 2014, the committee will forward its final recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.