Vote YES For Parks
- fyi---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Marc Stier <MarcStier@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 3:21 AM
Subject: Vote YES For Parks
6714 Wissahickon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119
On Election Day, while we are making history in the country as a
whole, we also have a chance to take an important step forward in our
continuing efforts to reform the city.
A charter change proposal that that revamps how we govern Fairmount
Park is on the ballot.
I want to urge you to vote YES for PARKS on Nov. 4th!
Voters will be asked to consider the following Ballot Question (Bill
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?
This Charter Change will:
Create an Open and Transparent Process to Appoint Park Commissioners:
The Board of Judges will no longer appoint commissioners in private.
Protect Park Land: A newly established "Parks and Recreation
Commission" will for the first-time ever establish guidelines for
the protection- acquisition, lease, sale and development of land and
resources, including a process for community input and study of best
practices. Currently land deals are dealt with on an ad hoc basis
often to the exclusion of or with limited public input.
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.
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.
There has been some well-meaning, but in my view, misinformed
opposition to this charter proposal. I've given a detailed
explanation of why I support the charter change against the arguments
of the opponents of it in a blog post
. I encourage you to take a look at it.
My argument basically comes down to this: In the last few years we
have created a democratic movement for reform in this city, one that
aims to give citizens the power to make city government more honest,
open, forward looking, and progressive.
This charter change proposal, which is supported by the Next Great
City Initiative and by the Parks Alliance, is an important part of
that reform movement one that will help bring the management and
funding of our parks into the twentieth century.
On November 4, vote YES for parks.
PS To learn more go to www.philaparks.org
or to my blog post