Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Update from Council President Conlin on Laurelhurst Community Center

One of our readers received the following email message yesterday from Council President Richard Conlin, in response to sending in feedback on the Laurelhurst Community Center.

There is still time to send in more feedback by email this week directly to budget@seattle.gov  as the Council will not adopt the budget until next Monday, November 22nd.

Here is Council Member Conlin's email:

Thank you for your message about the Laurelhurst Community Center. I am pleased to be able to tell you that the Council has added funds to restore an additional 15 hours of drop in time at the Laurelhurst Community Center in the 2011 budget. Because of the difficult budget situation, we were unable to provide additional funding to fully restore services at Laurelhurst.

The Mayor’s proposed budget cut 38 drop in hours at Laurelhurst. The Mayor also proposed changing this community center to a limited service facility, with no plans for future restoration of services. The Council does not accept this limited service model, and we are embarking on a full review of community center operations in 2011, with the goal of finding ways to provide appropriate levels of service to all of our neighborhoods. The Parks Department has agreed to work with us on this, and we also have commitments from employees and their unions to work with us to find efficiencies that may allow services to be restored even with reduced funding.

We regret that we were not able to do more for Laurelhurst in this budget, but we were able to provide some assistance, and hope that this future work will result in a revitalized community center in the future.

The email also lists some of the most significant changes that the Council made in the Mayor's proposed budget which can all be found here.

Here is a partial list:


Ø Doubled the number of drop-in hours at the five Community Centers the Mayor proposed to cut, restoring each of them to 30 hours of drop-in availability for the community.

Ø Restored $300,000 to the City’s Neighborhood Matching Fund for community projects.

Ø Provided funding to restore three of the six neighborhood district coordinators that would have been terminated under the Mayor’s budget, retain a position in the Historic Preservation program, and keep the West Seattle payment center open.

For more information on budget actions go here.

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