Michael Harthorne

Divert Parks funds to keep community centers open

There is talk within the city and Seattle Parks and Recreation about the closure of pools and community centers, including the Ballard Community Center and Loyal Heights Community Center, due to budget "shortfalls."

Parks is in the process of spending $15 million over the next two to three years though their Opportunity Fund on development of new parks, improvements of existing parks and acquisition of new land for parks.

In addition, Parks is in the design stage of a $500,000 play area at Golden Gardens, as well as numerous other costly nonessential projects.

In an era where there is no money to responsibly manage existing parks and invaluable indoor community gathering spaces, funds for other projects must be re-allocated to maintain what is currently serving our communities, not add more operational costs that will lead to even more closures in the future.

This needs to be a directive from the Seattle City Council and Mayor's Office.

When the banking industry was collapsing, they cancelled orders on dozens of private jets and other nonessential overhead items.

I am a small business owner, and if I had saved money for a new work van, and my income was dramatically reduced due to economic circumstances, the "van fund" would be used for essential purposes, not a shiny new van.

It is time for our government to act as though they are a small business, vulnerable to economic turmoil, and not immune to failure through irresponsible management practices.

James Bristow
Ballard

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Comments

Whose responsible for allocating those funds to parks

We, the people, voted to tax ourselves to build new parks. Unfortunately, the levy as written did not contain any money to maintain those new parks. Not very wise.