VIDEO: Mayor goes public with Park District funding plan, including 3 long-shelved West Seattle parks

2:59 PM: In that briefing this morning at Rainier Playfield, Mayor Bruce Harrell went public with his proposal for what the Seattle Park District should pay for in the next six years. The $115 million/year plan would include funding to finish the three West Seattle “landbanked” parks that were shelved during the pandemic – 40th SW in The Junction, Morgan Junction Park Addition, and 48th/Charlestown – during the funding cycle (2023-2028 – we’re asking for estimated dates for those projects). Other key points include an exponential increase in Park Rangers – there are two now, and this plan would fund 26. Other safety-related proposals include a rapid-response team tackling graffiti and vandalism and expanding leash-law and scoop-law enforcement to 7 days a week. An expansion of community-center hours is promised, too. Here’s a ‘fact sheet” circulated today; beyond that, we asked for the line-by-line specifics and were told they’ll be sent by the mayor to the Park District Board (the City Council) next week, followed by a briefing on how they differ from the recommendations on which they’re based. So how much would it cost you? $331 a year for the “median value homeowner,” according to the mayor’s announcement. That’s more than double what you’re paying right now for Park District funding, which covers about a third of the Parks and Recreation budget – $154 this year for the “median value homeowner.” This does not go to voters, who approved the Park District’s creation and taxing authority years ago; approval is up to councilmembers.

3:36 PM: Since we published this, an agenda has arrived for a public hearing the Park District Board (council) is having on this proposal next Wednesday. It’s happening in Northgate but the agenda explains how to send written comments too.

24 Replies to "VIDEO: Mayor goes public with Park District funding plan, including 3 long-shelved West Seattle parks"

  • Revilo August 31, 2022 (3:26 pm)

    Nope.  These funds need to go to cleaning up, maintaining, and policing the existing 600+ parks the City already has.  Not more living options for the vagrants.  

    • WSB August 31, 2022 (3:33 pm)

      And there’s a lot of that in the plan, if you follow the links.

      • Revilo August 31, 2022 (3:39 pm)

        I did.  Not enough.  First fix the problems before moving on to adding more responsibility.  Basic controls.  The City has yet to prove they are able to be responsible for their (our) properties.

  • Kyle August 31, 2022 (3:33 pm)

    What about the wading pools that usually only get operated 2 days a week for a few hours?

  • Kyle August 31, 2022 (3:37 pm)

    I love the idea to fund keeping restrooms open all years. So annoying to pretend people don’t need to go to the bathroom in the winter so you have to pee in the bushes. Also extended community hours especially on weekends would be great for families and agree with more park maintenance. A lot of good in the proposal. How are the cycle 1 numbers broken down? That looks like ‘nornal business’ stuff. Should the park district be paying for this along with investment areas?

  • Odd son August 31, 2022 (4:05 pm)

    Glad leash and scoop laws are (finally) getting more attention. But I will believe it when I see it.

    • cshecks August 31, 2022 (5:50 pm)

      And let’s see more beach patrol to keep those mangy mutts and their oblivious owners off the beach!!!

      • Bronson September 1, 2022 (8:42 am)

        And let’s see more beach patrols to keep those filthy humans and their trash off the beach too while we are at it. 

  • bolo August 31, 2022 (4:33 pm)

    “rapid-response team tackling graffiti and vandalism and expanding leash-law and scoop-law enforcement to 7 days a week.”

    Looks like this directly addresses a lot of what commenters here have been complaining about for years.

    • bill August 31, 2022 (4:39 pm)

      Except it’s not free.

      • Brian August 31, 2022 (5:12 pm)

        The interesting facet of this is that no one ever claimed it was free. You might as well have said “yeah but it isn’t watermelon flavored”

  • Jort August 31, 2022 (4:38 pm)

    If the same people running the Parks Department are the same ones handling this increased funding, then you should reasonably expect that literally zero of these promises will actually come true. Here’s a trick for how you can see this for yourself. The mayor’s “fact” sheet says that alllll 129 public restrooms will be available year-round for use through “winterization” for the low, low cost of $580,000. The Alki Beach “Comfort Station” cost $638,000 alone. People in Seattle talk about how great our Parks system is but, um, it’s not. It is where productivity and responsibility go to die in Seattle government, and that’s really saying something.

    • cshecks August 31, 2022 (5:59 pm)

      Wrong. But love the optimism! Our parks system is fantastic! Too many parks and public spaces it’s hard to keep up? A great problem to have! I’ve lived in cities with minimal/sparse public spaces yet immaculately maintained – no thanks. Seattle is amazing in regards to the  sheer number of public spaces.

    • My two cents August 31, 2022 (8:17 pm)

      Jorty, there is a distinction between costs associated with construction compared to winterization/maintenance. It would be like comparing, say a lemon and a lime … citrus family, but different. Argument doesn’t hold up sir.

      • Ice September 1, 2022 (10:23 am)

        Maintenance over the lifespan of infrastructure (in this case, bathrooms) is far higher than construction costs. Maintenance ain’t cheap.

      • Derek September 1, 2022 (12:29 pm)

        Your analogy and counter argument doesn’t hold up either. Jort is correct.

    • Richard September 1, 2022 (6:55 am)

      I concur. The  promises made to the citizens of Seattle with the last huge parks and recreation levy was an abysmal waste of taxpayer money,  as evidenced by the conditions and lack of upkeep for the park systems . The City could not  maintain, let alone deliver on their promises.  Why?  Accountability is necessary. There appears to be no oversight to ensure and measure. Simple project management.  How successful was the last parks and recreation maintenance levy in delivering on its promises?  It  was one of the largest levies of its kind!  Yet almost half those funds could not be accounted for in the last levy according to a report the Seattle Times published years ago.  What did the Department  learn from its inability to deliver on  the last 7+ year plan ? And how will the management of the parks and recreation department/ comptrollers office institute oversight & lessens learned to ensure -the new levy if approved, will deliver successfully on its stated  objectives instead of forgetting about them . Sadly that is what will occur  as soon as voters approve the next windfall levy $$ . What has changed ?    Acknowledge past mistakes, the devil is in the implementation details that are necessary  if we are to believe and have more confidence that promises and plans will be met this time around.

  • Amy August 31, 2022 (4:55 pm)

    Bathrooms open year round? WOOT WOOT

  • wetone August 31, 2022 (6:11 pm)

    I will vote no for everything this city ask for, especially Parks due do it’s poor spending habits. This city has pissed away $100’s of millions over the last decade. Don’t know whats worse SDOT or Parks, but the tax payers have seen little common sense from both. There has been zero accountability from Parks, and SDOT has done very poorly with infrastructure maintenance and replacement. They both have the attitude of blowing the money and running the parks or infrastructure into ground then start with their scare tactics……… Just what I expect when city, sdot, parks change their leadership  so often…………poor leadership and zero common sense.  People need to hold this city accountable by voting NO for everything till things change or there will be a lot more people living on the streets…….. 

  • onion August 31, 2022 (7:04 pm)

    I wish the nay sayers would run for office or take leadership jobs in the parks or transportation departments. They obviously have the knowledge and skills to make Seattle work.

  • GW August 31, 2022 (7:09 pm)

    Can anyone comment on why Hamilton view point is such a dud of a park? Mostly there for people to smoke in cars. Seems like an obvious spot to add some amenities like a playground, especially with the excess grass lot that’s currently overrun my moles or prairie dogs or something. 

    • Jort August 31, 2022 (9:49 pm)

      Yeah, I can comment: because most of the park land is dedicated to the storage and movement of vehicles, instead of being accommodating to human beings. If the primary usage of the park is for cars, don’t expect it to be charming and engaging. 

  • Auntie August 31, 2022 (8:45 pm)

    more than double what you’re paying right now for Park District funding” – great! More property taxes! At some point, the only people who can afford to live in Seattle will be wealthy. Those of us on fixed income are getting taxed out. Not sure how far we have to go to find somewhere we can afford to live.

    • DC September 1, 2022 (8:52 am)

      We really need to institute income tax. That would be the most equitable way to raise state revenue without pricing the middle class out of property or raising cost of living on the poor through higher sales tax. 

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