Two Seattle Parks Department notes of interest:
SUPERINTENDENT CONFIRMATION: Six months after Mayor Bruce Harrell nominated AP Diaz to be the next Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the City Council is taking up the nomination. It’s the only major item at this Wednesday’s 2 pm meeting of the Public Assets and Homelessness Committee. The agenda documents include this one with Diaz’s written answers to 29 questions about various Parks-related issues as well as about his background and intentions. The committee might vote on the nomination at this meeting, but the full council would have the final say at a subsequent meeting.
MORE PARK RANGERS: City Councilmembers meeting this afternoon as the Seattle Park District Board (video above) were briefed by Diaz on the planned expansion of the Park Ranger program, spending $3 million to add “up to” 26 more rangers (right now the city has just two). But none will be assigned to West Seattle, despite our area having two of the largest parks in the city; the initial plan is for all of those Park Rangers to be deployed downtown and on Capitol Hill. From the slide deck for today’s meeting:
The geographical limitation is attributed in the short run to “bargaining constraints,” according to committee chair Councilmember Andrew Lewis, but that’s subject to change in future contract talks, Diaz said. Meantime, the department is actively recruiting candidates for the positions right now – qualifications are outlined in the full slide deck from today’s meeting. As also detailed in the presentation, the department will keep the board (council) updated on how many citations and warnings are issued, as well as how many “positive interactions” the rangers have. They hope to have the first 11 new rangers hired and trained by midyear.
ADDED TUESDAY: Some commenters wondered about the “bargaining constraints.” Christena Coutsoubos from Councilmember Lisa Herbold’s office has provided this 2008 document for context.