On November 4th voters will be asked to consider the following Ballot Question (Bill # 080169):It's true.
Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to merge the powers and duties of the Fairmount Park Commission and the Department of Recreation into a newly created Department of Parks and Recreation, to establish a new Commission on Parks and Recreation and to provide for its powers and duties?
Why Vote "YES" on the Charter Change Referendum On Parks November 4?
1. To Protect Park Land: A newly established "Parks and Recreation Commission" will for the first-time ever establish guidelines for the acquisition, lease, sale and development of land and resources, including a process for community input. Currently land deals are dealt with on an ad hoc basis often to the exclusion of or with limited public input.
2. Create an Open and Transparent Process to Appoint Park Commissioners: The Board of Judges will no longer appoint commissioners in private. Again, for the first time, there will be an open process with public hearings to nominate qualified candidates, with related expertise. The Mayor will make final appointments.
3. Improve Park and Recreation System: A unified system will create new opportunities to revitalize and invest in one of Philadelphia's most precious, but neglected assets - its watershed and neighborhood parks, recreation facilities, and historic treasures. Most cities in America, including those with similar assets, have a combined Parks and Recreation department.
In this merger, the two departments will have the opportunity to build on their unique and shared strengths, find new areas of synergy, and coordinate efforts to maximize the intersection of health, recreation, ecology, public safety, historic preservation, youth development, education, and neighborhood revitalization.
4. Expand Funding: As part of an overall reform package, Mayor Nutter and City Council have just approved the largest increase in park funding in decades - a significant first step toward full funding. With increased mayoral accountability and leadership, new and diverse funding sources will be developed.
Philadelphia Parks Alliance urges you to Vote YES on this ballot question!
Vote YES for PARKS!
Philadelphia Parks Alliance [ Official Site ]