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.