Save Our Beautiful Parks!

What do our beautiful parks need? They need to be maintained properly.

We all love our parks, and appreciate that over the years, they have been developed for us all to enjoy.  But lately they have fallen into serious disrepair and neglect by the parks department.

Why is this happening?  The mismanagement of funds has been well documented.  The emphasis on upper level management at the expense of working technicians is a large part of the problem.  But one of the biggest factors is the parks department’s insatiable appetite for capital improvements to satisfy the many narrowly focused recreational user groups in the city.  Parks provides the pork.

The emphasis of the parks department must change from planning new, extravagant capital projects.  It needs to concentrate on responsible maintenance of what we have to enjoy right now.

This measure will not increase the parks department’s budget.  Only the council can do that.  But this measure will make more of the department’s funding available for capital projects, and that is exactly what we cannot afford.

When APRC commits this money to capital improvements, it cannot be spent on the critical function of the parks department: maintaining our beloved parks.  We can all see how badly the condition of all of the parks has deteriorated over the past decade. 

Dedicating this revenue flow to the parks department will only accelerate the parks department inclination to focus on new projects at the expense of current parks and programs.

Dedicating this revenue flow to parks will eliminate an important tool for the city council to manage our finances.

The city is facing a tremendous amount of spending on infrastructure maintenance in the coming years.  Taxes and fees will unavoidably rise significantly.  Unless the taxpayers have unlimited resources, tough choices will have to be made.

It’s a question of “needs” versus “wants”.  We cannot “have it all”.  This is where we must draw the line.

Vote NO!

Dean Silver