Public meeting planned for the future of Seattle’s community centers

The 2011 City of Seattle budget was hard on the Department of Parks and Recreation. Several community centers were hit with cuts, including the Loyal Heights Community Center and the Ballard Community Center.

As a result, Parks and Recreation has been asked by the City Council to re-think how community centers operate. This process will include public meetings to discuss with the community ideas for how centers can be run differently. The first public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 at Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave E), from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

“Seattle Parks and Recreation operates 26 community centers,” reads a press release from Parks about the community meeting. ”The cost to run the centers far exceeds revenue brought in from center programs. Because of the current difficult budget situation, the department is exploring alternatives that would offer continued services for the public, while reducing costs. New methods of management, staffing, fundraising and partnerships will be explored.”

At the Feb. 2 meeting, Parks staff will ask attendees to share ideas and concerns regarding community center operations. In the spring, an additional public meeting will be held to discuss specific options.

10 thoughts to “Public meeting planned for the future of Seattle’s community centers”

  1. I am dismayed that we seem to have forgotten the word ‘community’. I am a transplant from an area where the larger community (here–Seattle) was not made up of smaller communities (like Ballard, Magnolia, Montlake, or any of the many communities that make up the total city of Seattle). I am also dismayed that our Community Centers are being singled out from all the component parts of the city’s budget as a ‘culpret’ and being asked to pay their own way. Surely, we understand the intangibles that the individual community centers provide. Please visit the community center in your neighborhood, attend one of the (I hope the one at Miller is not the only public meeting) public meetings, and provide constructive input to help these centers in their support to our communities.

  2. I go to two of the community centers. I am concerned for their future because neither is busy. Actually kind of dead. It makes sense to combine some. Just my thoughts for being a frequent user.

  3. Well, because your understanding of the word ‘community’ invariably means ‘I want some one else to pay for my and my kid’s entertainment’.

  4. Except the angry white men of Seattle got the taxpayer to buy them their damn stadiums. Two of them. You guys got your ball fields, now we get our community centers.

  5. Oh wait. I just remembered, the reason the public has to subsidize pro sports is that pro sports has INTANGIBLES. Let’s shut down the community centers and try to land a new NBA team with a basketball arena instead. Or at least give Dale Chihuly some free public land to build himself a gift shop.

  6. Nice bit of race baiting. I guess black, Latino and Asian people don’t watch football, soccer or baseball, they just sit at home and, like you, obsess about racial justice and sexism all day long.

  7. “Angry white men” is a spot-on description of a kind of politics, exemplified by complaints that things like community centers taxpayer-subsidized entertainment for social parasites. You can put a token like Michael Steel in charge of the Republican National Committee, but the honest truth is, it’s still the party of angry white men, the party of attacking social services, while handing out welfare to the NFL or the defense contractors or suburbanites in their SUVs who need a giant tunnel to bypass downtown Seattle.

    Regardless, I’m not sure how mentioning that minorities like pro sports justifies “somebody else” paying for their “entertainment” — your words, bud. Or why we were happy to pay for mere entertainment when it was for pro sports, or for the Chihuly thing, but *now* the gravy train has to end because it’s for the kind of folks who go to community centers, instead of for sports team owners and superstars and celebrities, and the bigshots who want to entertain their buddies in their stadium box seats. And the Wall Street bailout — don’t get me started.

    The rich all got their governemnt handouts, every last dime they wanted– but you buy into the sham that we can’t *afford* community centers? Maybe we need to raise taxes on the ones who ate all that pork in the first place, huh?

  8. Got much anger? I can see you veins popping from here as you thrash about at every supposed demon ruining your life.

    By the way, I’m not a sports fan; unless it’s cricket. I prefer sports played by gentlemen and watched by gentlemen.

  9. I’m not sure where you get your info from, but the Chihuly museum will be paying $350,000 a year in rent, jumping to $500,000 after five years; plus they’ll be building a $2 million playground adjacent to the museum. Money that will go a long way to help Seattle Center balance it’s books, which means less tax payer money spent to support it, which means more city money for things like community centers.

    But don’t let facts get in the way of a good rant.

  10. Well–I started this (first poster) – what has turned into a forum just to ‘bitch’. For the person who assumed the Community Center I most often use is so my kids can be entertained–I am way past child-bearing age! I pay to attend older folks group weight training sessions–so I can remain in my home and not be a burden on anyone. While at the Community Center, I see toddlers running around the gym and, among other things, learning socialization skills–something that some of the posters here could have used. Another thing to think about–is teens after school use the gym for pick-up basketball, and such. Isn’t that a better use than having them standing on a street corner?

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