The current flood of emails regarding exploration of Puyallup Parks and Recreation indicate the public is being misled. There is no plan or intent by the city manager or City Council to close or dismantle either.
City Manager Bill McDonald’s job is to review the finance and structure of all city departments. The parks department, being an expensive department, was reviewed and recommendations made. The recommendations do not include closing all of the sports programs or recreation center. Changes in staffing, user fees, volume of use and duplicated programs are all being examined.
All of this should have been done years ago. To ensure successful parks and recreation service, they need to be financially secure. Councilmen John Palmer and Kent Boyle represent the view, don’t look, don’t touch and don’t improve. They raised residents’ utility fees every year for the next five years to replace park monies being taken from infrastructure funds.
Those of us who want to save parks and recreation for the long run want a thorough exam of every department of the city.
I coached youth football, baseball and basketball off and on from 1963 to 2006. I am not willing to passively allow Palmer and Boyle to imply that they have more interest than I do or any other council member does.
If you wish me to support raising your utilities as they did, or taxes, please let me know. Otherwise, let’s wait and see what McDonald recommends.
(Knutsen is Puyallup’s deputy mayor.)