Reading through the City of Phoenix Budget Proposal for 2010 and once again it hits home that we are in a reverse stage of the cities growth. The 82 page PDF titled – Schedule 1: Proposed General Fund Budget Reductions by Department covers a $139 Million dollar reduction. I suggest you read through this. It is amazing to see what we have government for.
I suggest you attend a hearing if you have anything to say about this proposed budget: Phoenix Budget Hearings
A few things stood out for me but it cascaded into a really long post. Turns out we are cutting a lot of shit out of the budget this year. So here is part 4 of 5:
Page 38 to 54 Parks and Recreation
1. Eliminate City of Phoenix funding provided to the Latino Institute for special events and reduce City of Phoenix financial support for the Cinco De Mayo, Pride, and Martin Luther King events by 50%.
2. Reduce frequency of contracted palm tree pruning from every year to every other year on 14 major streets and Enchanted Island at Encanto Park.
3. Eliminate equestrian patrol program used on trails at South Mountain Park, the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the Sonoran Preserve, Papago Park, and flatland parks. This reduction will eliminate the use of horses for all educational programs and signature programs such as National Trail Trek.
4. Increase span of control in department divisions. This will eliminate one Deputy Parks Director position and will require the merger of divisions. This reduction also includes eight Recreation Coordinators, a Management Assistant I, and two Secretary II positions that provide support for volunteer coordination, youth and adult sports programs, and public information services. This will require assigning duties to remaining staff and will reduce the departmentâ€™s ability to implement projects and respond to citizen requests.
5. Close Cortez Pool. Because recent inspections found damage that will require repairs to the pool shell and gutter system estimated at a cost of $900,000, the pool will be closed indefinitely. Closure of this pool will eliminate open swim, water safety programs, swimming lessons, and senior water aerobics for more than 19,000 participants. This was one of eight pools closed on a rotating basis for repairs in the prior year.
6. Close Shemer Art Center and Museum. The Shemer Art Center is a historical site and is a family- oriented art education center and museum with over 5,000 patrons annually. The City will be seeking public/private partnerships in an effort to restore some services. Reductions include one Recreation Coordinator and a part-time Recreation Leader position. Revenue generated from this program is estimated at $9,000.
7. Eliminate Daring Adventures, River of Dreams, and support for Special Olympics. Daring Adventures and River of Dreams provide adaptive recreation programming including hockey, biking, kayaking and cross country skiing for young persons with significant disabilities. The Special Olympics program creates an opportunity for children, teens, and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities to train and compete in organized sporting events. This reduction includes two Recreation Coordinator positions and two Recreation Programmer positions. Revenue generated from this program is estimated at $8,000.
8. Reduce staff and programs at the Pueblo Grande Museum. The museum will have only basic housekeeping performed by a contract custodial service. Tree trimming will be reduced from bi-monthly to monthly and trash will be emptied weekly versus daily. Turnaround time for archaeological review of public and private construction projects, as required by federal and state law, and for archaeological collections will increase from three weeks to four weeks. This will eliminate a Museum Assistant position and convert a full-time Museum Aide to part-time and a Semiskilled Worker to a part-time Groundskeeper.
9. Reduce maintenance and supervision at Papago Park, Rio Salado Restoration Area Project, and South Mountain Park. This will eliminate a Park Manager, three Groundskeepers, and a Building Maintenance Worker position. The loss of the Park Manager will reduce the monitoring of restored habitat permits and the coordination of research projects with ASU and other colleges. The loss of Groundskeeper and Building Maintenance Worker positions will reduce maintenance of park grounds and trails, equipment, and facilities. Restroom cleaning and tree trimming will be reduced from three times per week to infrequently and fewer ramada reservations will be accepted.
10. Eliminate seven Park Ranger positions assigned to mountain parks and preserves, which represents a 15% reduction in force. This will result in closing mountain parks and preserves and gated trailheads at 7:00 p.m. daily. Facilities with gated access will not be open for summer holidays. This will result in fewer staff to respond to violations of park rules or inappropriate use of park property by the public. The public will experience closed parking lots, gates, and restrooms after 7:00 p.m. and patrons entering parks after hours through neighborhood access points will need to call the Phoenix Police or Fire Department if emergency assistance is needed.
11. Close Phoenix Center for the Arts. Over 16,000 patrons use the theater, four classrooms, multipurpose room, visual arts studios, and art galleries. This facility generates $26,000 in revenue annually. The City will seek public/private partnerships to assist in restoring the centerâ€™s operations. This will eliminate a Recreation Coordinator, a Customer Service Clerk, and 1.0 part-time staff.
12. Reduce hours at Desert West Softball Complex. The complex will be closed during the week and at night on weekends. The complex is used for leagues and tournament play by 28,000 adult softball participants. Desert West hours are being reduced due to the poor condition of the field lighting system and capital expense needed for improvements. This will leave patrons without leagues to participate in and youth will be unable to use the complex for practice. Annual revenue generated from complex activities is estimated at $30,000. This eliminates a Groundskeeper and a part-time Recreation Instructor position.
13. Reduce citywide street landscape maintenance by more than 32%. This will reduce staff from one for every 27 acres to one for every 42 acres. Maintenance frequency for major arterial areas will be driven by citizen complaint and emergencies, and it will take up to a week to respond. Many areas will reflect blighted conditions. Inspection and removal of visual and physical obstructions for pedestrians and vehicle operators, irrigation system inspection and repair, routine tree and shrub care, and removal of uncontained debris and weeds will be significantly impacted. Reduction includes 11 Groundskeeper positions.
14. Reduce neighborhood and community park maintenance. The City has 205 neighborhood and community parks that cover nearly 5,500 acres. For larger community parks, maintenance frequency will be based on the number of reservations, usage, and amenities. Maintenance frequency of mini- parks, basins, and neighborhood parks will be serviced every other day versus the current daily schedule. At all parks, cleanliness, accessibility, and non-emergency equipment repairs will take longer to be corrected. This eliminates six Groundskeeper positions and other support staff.
15. Close Arizona Horse Lovers Park, North Mountain and South Mountain Visitor Centers and Rio Salado Customer Service Center. This will eliminate all community use of the horse arenas and maintenance of the 18 mile trail system. The visitor centers will no longer be available for meetings, training, and ramada reservations. Visitors will no longer be able to view exhibits and the South Mountain Environmental Education Center and the Activity Complex will no longer be accessible to visitors. This reduction includes eliminating the Customer Service Clerk position, which will result in calls being routed to the main reservation line with messages taking up to 7 days to return. This also eliminates three Recreation Coordinators, a Semiskilled Worker, two Groundskeeper positions, and estimated revenue of $39,000.
16. Eliminate the citywide softball program and part-time maintenance staff in the Northwest and Northeast Divisions. The citywide softball program is organized by the City and provides recreational opportunities for approximately 10,000 participants, including 500 teams playing 4,650 games annually and generates $43,000 in revenue. The program will end in July 2010 at the close of the current season. The reduction of maintenance staff will result in longer frequencies for trash pick-up, graffiti removal, cleaning of restrooms, tree trimming, and weed control. Grass will be mowed at a 14-day frequency versus twice a week. This eliminates a Recreation Coordinator and part-time Recreation Aides and Groundskeeper positions.
17. Eliminate recreation programming and staff supervision at the Rose Mofford and Encanto Park Sports Complexes. These facilities offer a variety of amenities including: basketball courts, lighted racquetball and tennis courts, volleyball courts, concessions, and an office to check out recreation equipment. The facilities will be open to the public but activities will be unsupervised. This will eliminate organized tennis programs at both Encanto Park Sports Complex and Herberger Park affecting 116 participants. Amphitheater Island at Encanto Park, which serviced 175 bookings, will no longer accept individual reservations. Recreation equipment will not be available to check out and racquetball courts will be locked to deter criminal activity. Annual revenue loss is estimated at $74,000. This eliminates three Recreation Coordinators, two Recreation Programmers, a Gardner, a Groundskeeper, and 6.0 part-time positions.
18. Significantly reduce staff that provides support for special facilities at Margaret T. Hance Park and Civic Space Park. Staff assists with the coordination of events and rental reservations at these locations, which includes the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Irish Cultural Center. The Cityâ€™s coordination of special events such as the MLK Jr. celebration, October Fest, St. Patrickâ€™s Day, and First Fridays will be significantly reduced or eliminated. Hance Park had over 760 rentals/bookings last year, generating over $14,000 in revenue. Civic Space Park has supported 48 bookings with an estimated attendance of 15,200 patrons, generating $4,000 in revenue. This will eliminate one of two Recreation Coordinator positions and 2.0 part- time staff.
19. Close the garden at Tovrea Castle and increase span of control in the Natural Resources Division. The elimination of the sole maintenance position for the garden at Tovrea Castle garden will result in closure of the site to the public. The thousands of plants on site will receive minimal care, and the building and grounds will deteriorate. Weekend garden tours and the Master Gardener program will be eliminated. The elimination of an Administrative Assistant II position will require a reorganization of the Natural Resources Division to redistribute the complex management and permit oversight of the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area to remaining staff. The Rio Salado Habitat has 595 acres of restored habitat. Tours of the restored habitat will no longer be provided.
20. Close Camp Colley. Camp Colley is an outdoor adventure camp located in northern Arizona that provides structured, supervised recreation opportunities for young people. An agreement between the City and the Camp Colley Foundation is in place through June 30, 2010. This eliminates a Park Manager position.
21. Reduce maintenance and programming at the Reach 11 Soccer Complex and the Diamondbacks Field of Dreams Baseball Complex. The 18 soccer fields will be mowed every two weeks versus two times per week, over-seeding will be eliminated, and the level of fertilizer, top dressing, and aerification will be greatly reduced. The soccer complex will not meet national tournament standards, which will greatly impact the Cityâ€™s ability to host state, regional, and national soccer tournaments. Organizations renting the baseball complex will have to line the fields and put out bases on their own. Limited staff will remain to clean restrooms, pick-up trash, and groom baseball fields. Programs and events will not be supervised. This eliminates an Administrative Assistant II, Park Foreman, Park Manager, two Equipment Operators, two Groundskeepers, a Recreation Leader, a Recreation Coordinator and part-time positions.
22. Eliminate the Phoenix Afterschool Centers (PAC) summer program and City funding for the Boys and Girls Club program. This will impact 2,200 school age children at 16 locations operated by the City. Reductions include 14.2 part-time staff and $249,000 in estimated revenue. This will also reduce support to the Homes and Gable Boys and Girls Clubs for teen programming.
23. Close eight neighborhood recreation centers that are currently open only in the summer, including one located at a County-owned public housing site. Neighborhood recreation centers offer 8-week summer recreation programs and activities for youth ages 7-17 at Barrios Unidos, Central, Grant, Holiday, Smith, South Phoenix Youth Center, and Thunderbird Teen Center. These seven centers had over 24,000 user visits last year. The Housing Department will now fund the programs at the three recreation centers located at City- owned housing sites (S.P Osborn, Foothills, and Luke Krohn). The center located at Coffelt, which is owned by the County, will be closed. This eliminates 2.4 part- time positions.
24. Close seven year-round neighborhood recreation centers and eliminate West Phoenix Revitalization recreation programming. The Sunnyslope Youth Center and Verde, University, Playa Margarita, Marc Atkinson, Hayden, and Harmon recreation centers have 251,000 user visits annually and offer free programs for youth and adults. Grant-funded programs for adults with developmental disabilities, and violence prevention education, can no longer be supported if these centers close. This represents a loss of $327,000 in grant funds. The elimination of West Phoenix Revitalization recreation programming will cancel three outdoor safe park programs that serve hundreds of youths annually and reduce coordination of events and fund raising supported by communities. The department will no longer be able to fulfill its part of the West Phoenix Revitalization Plan. This eliminates ten Recreation Coordinators and 14.9 part-time staff.
25. Close Desert West, Rose Mofford, and Papago Softball Complexes. These facilities provide adult and youth softball leagues and tournaments for approximately 330,000 participants on over 700 teams annually. The revenue generated from these complexes is estimated at $221,000. This eliminates a Foreman, three Groundskeepers, two Recreation Coordinators, and 2.9 part-time positions.
26. Reduce Park Rangers assigned to mountain parks and preserves. This will eliminate seven Park Ranger positions, which represents an additional 18% reduction in force. This will result in further reducing hours at mountain parks and preserves from 7 days a week 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., to 5 days a week (Wednesday â€“ Sunday) from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This will result in significantly fewer staff to respond to violations of park rules or inappropriate use of park property. City sponsored events like Phoenix Summit Challenge, National Trail Trek, and National Public Lands Day will no longer be held. Public and private events such as filming requests, Cancer Climb, National Parks America Tour, and Pueblo Grande Indian Market will no longer take place.
27. Eliminate the Phoenix Afterschool Centers (PAC) school-year programs. This will result in the closure of 36 general funded sites, 14 revenue supported sites, and 5 full cost-recovery sites. This impacts 2,300 school aged children. The loss of revenue is estimated at $200,000. The grant funded Nutrition Education and Training program will be eliminated as a result of this reduction. This USDA funded program provides nutrition, health, and physical activity education. This represents a loss of $353,000 in grant funds. Reductions include a Recreation Supervisor, twenty Recreation Programmers, eighteen part-time Recreation Instructors, sixteen part- time Recreation Aide positions, and six Recreation Coordinator positions.
28. Close 5 of 13 large community centers: Deer Valley, Desert West, Devonshire, Mountain View, and the Washington Activity Center. Reduce operating hours from 65 to 40 hours per week at 8 remaining community centers. Senior Center operations at shared facilities will not be impacted by this reduction. These centers offer classes, programs, and special events for residents. The closure of facilities will eliminate meeting places for community organizations, boards and commissions, and planning committees. Reduced hours will eliminate over 1,100 classes, programs, and special events. Rental of facilities will no longer be available before or after the centersâ€™ hours of operation. This will reduce maintenance levels for remaining facilities by 33 to 50% depending on the facility size and will lead to longer cleaning and repair cycles. Only minimal maintenance staff will remain at closed centers to monitor vandalism and mechanical breakdowns. Reductions include 38 full-time and 23.5 part-time positions, and revenue of $42,000.
29. Reduce citywide street landscape maintenance by an additional 43%. Maintenance frequency for major arterial areas will be driven by citizen complaint and emergencies and will take over a week to respond. This reduction combined with prior reductions leaves one staff for every 74 acres. Many areas will reflect blighted conditions. Inspection and removal of visual and physical obstructions for pedestrians and vehicle operators, irrigation system inspection and repair, routine tree and shrub care, and removal of uncontained debris and weeds will be significantly impacted. Reduction includes six Groundskeepers, three Gardeners, and a Parks Foreman position.
30. Further reduce neighborhood and community park maintenance. The City has 205 neighborhood and community parks that cover nearly 5,500 acres. For larger community parks maintenance frequency will be based on the number of reservations, usage, and amenities. Maintenance frequency for mini- parks, basins, and neighborhood parks will be every third or fourth day versus the current daily schedule. At all parks cleanliness, accessibility, and non-emergency equipment repairs will take longer to be corrected. This eliminates six Groundskeeper positions.