Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Sound Off

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Sound Off

Article excerpt

What are your strategic solutions for managing budget cuts?

This month's Sound Off features highlights from the new NRPA Public Policy blog "Talking Policy for Parks and Recreation." For two days in December, more than 5,000 participants logged on to the Online Town Hall Meeting to discuss Strategic Solutions for Managing Budget Cuts. The next Online Town Hall Meeting will take place this month. Watch your email inbox for your reminder or contact Becky Webb-Morser (bwebbmorser@nrpa.org) for information. Bookmark this page: http://nrpablog.typepad.com/policy/

IN AURORA, COLORADO, WE HAVE ON OCCASION (after careful analysis) lowered fees to generate additional participation and revenue. Our financial assistance and city employee discount programs have also helped to generate additional participation and revenue. We monitor the above approaches to ensure a positive financial position.

-Linda Kotowski, CPRP

THE CITY OF PHOENIX IS FACING a shortfall of an estimated $250 million over the next sixteen months. Each department was asked to propose 30 percent reduction, which equals $30 million for the Parks and Recreation Department. During the last fiscal year, there was a reduction to the parks and recreation operating budget of 13 percent or $12.3 million. While evaluating the remaining programs and services, it became apparent that further reductions would impact recreation programs severely. Our strategy in proposing reductions was to increase fees, reduce administrative positions, evaluate programs that might be offered by other organizations and nonprofits (such as youth sports programs), decrease general recreation programs, modify facility hours and availability, and lastly reduce frequency in park maintenance and ranger patrol. Partnerships and sponsorships have always been critical to our operation. In this time it will be more critical to evaluate all opportunities in order to continue to provide essential services to members of our community. …

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