Community center at risk of being shut down

Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a $2.5 million budget shortfall this year, which means at least one of our neighborhood community centers is at risk of being closed down. According to KING 5 News, either the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW) or Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St) face the possibility of closure because of their close proximity.

“Our family has played & volunteered at Loyal Heights Community Center for over 20 years,” My Ballard reader Eli emailed us when he heard the news. “Parks are a large part of what keeps our neighborhood great.”

There are two public meetings scheduled for people to voice their opinion on the possible closure, as well as other cuts that are expected this year. Those cuts, according to KING 5, include closing 24 of 27 wading pools and closing two to three community swimming pools.

“We’re asking neighbors and patrons to attend one of these hearings and to share their positive experiences about the center’s programs,” said Melissa Valenzuela, the Recreation Center Coordinator at the Loyal Heights Community Center in an email to My Ballard. “While we do not know how Loyal Heights Community Center will be impacted, we hope patrons will speak on behalf of all recreation programs and facilities, including nearby Ballard and Bitter Lake Community Centers. We hope patrons will tell our city leaders about what would happen if Seattle Parks no longer offered low-cost fitness programs, no longer offered preschool classes, no longer offered teen programs, or no longer offered activities for patrons over age 55.”

The first hearing is tonight, April 28th at the New Holly Gathering Hall in South Seattle (7054 32nd Ave S). The second meeting, which is closer to Ballard will be held Tuesday, May 4 at North Seattle Community College Cafeteria (9600 College Way North). Sign-in for both meetings starts at 5 p.m. with the public hearing at 5:30 p.m.

Earlier this week, Seattle Parks and Recreation chief Tim Gallagher resigned his post. Parks and Recreation faces cuts of more than $10 million and more than 100 full-time positions in 2011, reports the Seattle Times.

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onederfullone
Guest
onederfullone

Good morning, what great news to start off the day…

I'd suggest that they cut into the city council budget, the staff, etc. to the bone before they cut community centers, pools, parks, etc.

If anyone sits still for this, they deserve what they get.

great idea
Member
great idea

where's the money going to come from?

this city is in pretty bad shape financially.

should we hold off on hiring more police officers instead?

sadly I haven't gone into one of these community centers since they made us vote by mail, but I know they provide value.

Christine
Member
Christine

We've been using the Loyal Heights center workout room 2-3 times a week for over a year now so we would certainly be affected if that center were to close. Another concern is the crime level in that area with another vacant building. It's bad enough already so I shudder to think of what might happen if they take away the funding. What a sad state of affairs.

onederfullone
Guest
onederfullone

Cut the council budget in half, diahria boy, don't give them the time to waste on ennacting petty nanny state laws, like outdoor park smoking and spitting bans.

Cut their staff in half, so they don't waste time outreaching for people to suckle on the barren teets of this city.

And, quit saying it's parks or cops until the above happens.

Farmer Ted
Guest
Farmer Ted

Usual threats they make to threaten the sheep into raising their taxes.

michelle_momma
Guest
michelle_momma

I'm sorry. The answer to this problem is painfully simple.

Raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes!

The state budget has clearly been cut to the bone. There is no more “fat” or “waste” to be trimmed, so lets all stop fantasizing that that's the answer. If there were easy cuts that everyone could agree on they would have been made by now.

I really don't understand all these people who aren't willing to pay for the services we need and appreciate. To paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes “I like paying taxes, with them I buy civilization.” And to be fair, it ought to be an income tax to boot.

But noooo, raising taxes or implementing an income tax might require those who are well-off in this society to make some sacrifices and pay their fair share. Wahhhh. We can't have that.

nancyfancy
Guest
nancyfancy

Too bad Pro-Parks Levy $$ can't be used to help out here. It makes me want to re-think if I'll ever vote yes on that one again.

Name
Guest
Name

Sell one of the properties and use the funds to keep the other operating in addition to slashing city budgets and staff.

This cr@p is standard liberal scare tactic drivel to get your taxes raised, nothing more.

What this really means is that their budget will GROW by $10 million LESS than what they WANT, so they are threatening to ax jobs (when does the government ever fire anybody!) and close buildings to get the funds – the folks will be put on paid leave/holiday, and be reimbursed once they get the funds. FORCE them to sell one of the properties!

Name
Guest
Name

Why not willingly close one of the two community centers? Better to have one that is overused then 2 that are underused. Possibly by closing one-some portion of the money that supported it could be earmarked for improving-upgrading the remaining community center. Really having two so close together is a bit of a luxury.

Bark more, Wag Less
Guest
Bark more, Wag Less

Well off? Have you seen the property taxes we pay around here? I'm very middle class and pay through the nose and if you think the income tax won't drop down to us, you're insane.

thetaxpayer
Guest
thetaxpayer

Community Center… What's that?

Name
Guest
Name

You are quite free to send the government all of your money.
Write them a check and pop it in the mail.

Want to raise taxes? Want an income tax?
No one is stopping you from paying more taxes!

Come on, go for it!
Lead by example!

Here is the ultimate fair tax: every adult sends in $20,000 per year. No ifs, ands or buts. We all pay the the same amount. Everything else is just hyped up class warfare.

Name
Guest
Name

A waste of our money, that's what.

Bark more, Wag Less
Guest
Bark more, Wag Less

Middle class hobo camp.

great idea
Member
great idea

“slash city budgets and staff”

isn't that what they're doing, genius?

Evan Simpson
Guest
Evan Simpson

I don't see them as a waste of money. I gladly pay property taxes to make my community all the more liveable, and community centers are a part of that, in my opinion. So, since we have a difference of opinion, what should be done? Should we yell and scream at each other? Call each other stale names? Rely on the “you liberal *(&” or, “you right wing &(*&(” ? Blame the homeless for our problems? Thats easy and tends to be the standard fare on this blog. Finding solutions, thats hard.

Anne Sorensen
Guest
Anne Sorensen

The Loyal Heights Community Center is hosting a Car Wash this Saturday, May 1st, to raise money for the Center and programs offered, etc. The car wash will run from 10am – 12 noon at:

Loyal Heights Community Center
2101 NW 77th St
Seattle, WA 98117 US

Waltlaw
Guest
Waltlaw

How about a neighborhood tax levy?
It shouldn't take anymore than $100 a year per household to cover the expenses. Unless this is one of those things we would rather other people pay for.

CM
Guest
CM

I agree. I'm fine with them closing one down if it saves money. *shrug*

jcapatelli
Guest
jcapatelli

“Name” proves that idiots are among us.

Maybe “Name” needs to turn off Fox “News” and KKKVI radio and spend some time in the real world.

“…hyped up class warfare” indeed; when the top 1% of the population has over 40% of the wealth, that's class warfare. Taxing those people at a higher rate—which would still leave them multiple millions that they could never spend—is the sensible way to do things.

But if you're an obtuse, backward type, like this “Name” guy, you have problems with the clear and obvious.

jcapatelli
Guest
jcapatelli

The sheer ignorance of this “Name” guy is amazing. Yet typical for people of his mentality.

Governments fire and lay off people all of the time. You're either uninformed or willfully ignorant because it fits with your backward ideological beliefs.

People like you belong in the 19th century; not the 21st. Wake up and smell the coffee.

jcapatelli
Guest
jcapatelli

The two community centers serve completely different neighborhoods. Duh.

Ever hear of geography, Einstein?

jcapatelli
Guest
jcapatelli

Only people of you backward, far-right mentality would say that, “Name”.

What a dolt…

jcapatelli
Guest
jcapatelli

And the “middle class” is something you can only dream of ever joining, “Bark”…

jcapatelli
Guest
jcapatelli

Thanks for the info. I'll bring my car and spread the word!

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