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Petition started to save Ballard Community Centers

Posted by Geeky Swedes on April 30th, 2010

Updated: Mindy Terence and her family have been using the Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St.) for a few years. “We have never taken LHCC for granted,” she tells us. “Ever since we moved into the neighborhood of Loyal Heights, we have been using the facilities.” When Terence heard the news that one of Ballard’s two community centers could be closed because of financial reasons, she took action. Terence has put together a petition that she hopes will sway decision maker’s minds about cutting either the LHCC or the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW). Her goal is to get 3,000 signatures before the May 4th budget hearing.

The petition states:

“We, the undersigned, seek to stop the possible closure of BOTH the Loyal Heights Community Center AND the Ballard Community Center.

Both of these centers should remain open, as they provide valuable and appreciated services and facilities to the surrounding neighborhoods of Ballard Proper, Loyal Heights, Sunset Hill, North Beach, East Ballard, Crown Hill, Broadview and Fremont; neighbors of every age partake in each center’s programs, classes and gym time—especially children.

We offer that the City and the Parks Department look elsewhere to reduce costs and close the budget deficit, specifically by reducing the department’s payroll and operating hours. We also propose considering a moderate increase in user and participant fees, if that would help keep these community centers open.

We understand that in this economy, local government is having to trim costs and cut back. However, we value these community centers just as much as our police and fire departments. They represent an irreplaceable and vital hub of community activity week after week.

Please help save the Loyal Heights and Ballard Community Centers from closure by adding your name to this petition.”

Terence will be hosting a meeting on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the Loyal Heights Community Center to discuss strategy and gather signatures. Terence also plans on being at the Sunday Farmers Market with the petition in hand.

There is a car wash fundraiser at the Loyal Heights Community Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, but it is not related to this issue. “This is not a fundraiser to support the budget cuts. This was planned beforehand, and the money raised would go directly to upcoming teen trips,” Melissa Valenzuela with LHCC tells us.

The May 4th budget hearing will be held at the North Seattle Community College Cafeteria (9600 College Way North). Sign-in for the meeting starts at 5 p.m. with the public hearing at 5:30 p.m.

5:45 p.m. Update: The petition is now available online and a Facebook fan page has been created.

(Mindy Terence can be reached at mindy@loyalheightswatch.org)

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9 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Edog // Apr 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I really want to attend the budget hearing, but based on what I've read elsehwere think its going to be crowded! The dog not only wonders if he'll have to stand, or will even make it in the room!

  • 2 Edog // Apr 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I really want to attend the budget hearing, but based on what I've read elsehwere think its going to be crowded! The dog not only wonders if he'll have to stand, or will even make it in the room!

  • 3 ballardmama1979 // Apr 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Come early! Even if you don't want to speak or come after the list is very long you can stand as a group when someone else speaks. Don't let anything as silly as having to stand up a while keep you away frm this meeting! If these centers mean anything to you PLEASE come to stand in support of their continued operation. I attended the meeting on Weds in South Seattle and while the big picture of the budget crisis is beyond grim, the only thing left for us to do is urge our city leaders to keep our facilities open. For those truly unable to make the meeting PLEASE write to the city council members and share your feelings that way. This petition is a good start, though after seeing all the other worthy programs and organizations vying for a piece of the same pie, it's hard to reasonably expect both facilities will remain open. The budget gap is huge and major cuts WILL happen soon. We can only do as much as we can to show the city how much we need these places in our neighborhood.

  • 4 onederfullone // May 1, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I can't attend this meeting, certainly wouldn't talk anyway, but would vocally support those who's views and input I agree with.

    If someone who attends can point out the importance of these facilities being open and in readiness for the threat of natural disasters, that would be helpful as well.

    If I'm not mistaken, they are included in the preparedness plan within the city.

    Also mention that the union interests have to be overruled, and that volunteers be able to assume more of the responsibilities that are currently exclusively under the auspice of union labor contracts.

    Good luck.

  • 5 SeattleRichardson // May 1, 2010 at 1:37 am

    I was told that if we couldn't make it to the meeting then we should send an email to the mayor. I plan on doing that for sure! The community centers and public wadding pools are amazing assets for the city and it would be terrible if they weren't open this summer. As others have stated most wadding pools were closed last summer due to a national plan to have special drain cover on all public pools. So now it could be another year of now wadding pools!

  • 6 Mindy Terence // May 1, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks to many friends, neighbors, and organizations who are supporting this cause to save both LHCC and BCC. Specifically–Amy J (always so ready to jump in and get things moving!), Mickey and Hector R for helping draft the petition, Dawn H and the East Ballard Community Association, Dave and Groundswell NW, and Dennis and Crown Hill Neighbors. Thanks also to Hannah, Adam, Cindy and Joanna and everyone who have already signed the petition.

    We’ve got a couple of more days till the May 4th budget hearing. Please read the petition and sign it if you agree. (Remember, we’re trying to save both community centers. ) Be sure to pass the information about the impending closure to fellow neighbors as we have found that there are many neighbors who were not aware of this information.

    Thanks.

  • 7 Bark more, wag less // May 2, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Seems like a very reasonable proposal, no request to raise our taxes. It’d be nice to get some government money spent up here, we’re beginning to feel like an ‘underserved community’.

  • 8 Beverly // May 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    These community centers provide a valuable resource to all age groups in the community. So many classes, peer groups, and special events take place. Keeping our seniors connected is so important. Save the Centers!

  • 9 Maggie Miller // May 3, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I have raised all of my kids with the Ballard community being a big part of our lives.
    The classes, summer camps and daycares are extrodinarily good. Sean and his team are are the best. they are great with all of the kids.
    This wqould leave a big whole in our community if these centers are to be closed. I think we should all write our state reps. and senators on this issue !!!!.

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