Monday, February 1, 2010

For my non-Twitter readers:

I went to the City-County Council meeting tonight and was given the opportunity to speak out on Stuart Lowry's re-appointment as the head of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Lowry has had a mixed bag with the Parks Department, but I don't think he is acting as an advocate for Parks as other department heads have done for their departments. Year after year, and this isn't a Democrat or Republican issue, it's completely bipartisan, the Parks department budget gets slashed and burned. We are in a recession, but the Parks Dept. is being cut into more than any other department. Parks spending has gone from $29 million in 2007 to $27 million in the 2010 budget, and is likely going to continue facing cuts. Cities such as Nashville, TN and Fort Wayne, IN spend about $51 per citizen on city parks, whereas Indianapolis spends $31, according to the Indianapolis Star.

As I mentioned on my Twitter page, I had a friendly conversation with Mr. Lowry shortly after I spoke. I told him I wish him well and was glad he was able to take the criticism in stride, but I just am not convinced that he is an advocate to Mayor Ballard on city parks. All I want is the parks, during budget cut times, to be treated like all the other agencies getting cut, instead of the slash and burning that's going on now.

I'd like to once again thank the council for allowing public comment during a full council meeting. More on THAT later.

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