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McGinn on cuts to community centers: "We just have less money"

What do you think? (4 Comments) September 29, 2010 at 5:17PM

On Monday (Sept. 27, 2010), Mayor Mike McGinn presented a proposed 2011 city budget to Seattle City Council.  Included in his recommendations was the suggestion that, beginning in January 2011, the Green Lake Community Center (7201 E Green Lake Dr N) operate under “Limited-Use Status” with reduced operating hours and six less FTE staff.

At a “media brown bag” today (Wednesday, Sept. 29), the mayor addressed concerns that more wasn’t done to prevent cuts to six community centers, including the Green Lake Community Center.  Footage of the event has been made available by the Seattle Channel:

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To watch past Mayor videos please visit the Seattle Channel website

“The budget presented us with really challenging choices,” McGinn said, “and I think that the reductions we’ve made, given the scope of the challenges, were targeted and relatively small.”  He pointed out that no parks were closed, and the “big five” wading pools, including Green Lake wading pool, will be kept open during the summer months.

McGinn explained that he chose which community centers to cut based on the amount of programming and drop-in use they have.

“If the Council wants to put more money into those facilities,” he said, “they’ll have to look to another part of the budget to cut.  We just have less money.”  City Council, he said, could decide to “cut deeper into police, or fire, or human services, or other functions of government.  Or, alternatively, they could look to adding a tax source.”

The budget, McGinn said, is “ultimately a balancing act.”  While he did his best “to keep the cuts to the Parks Department modest,” he conceded that the cuts “are real, and we know that they will affect services.”

City Council will discuss and vote on options between October 28 and November 12.  There are several ways that you can provide feedback to City Council regarding the city budget.

4 Responses to “McGinn on cuts to community centers: "We just have less money"”

  1. guest says:

    how about if the Mayor and some of his pricier co-horts CUT THEIR SALARIES to help the budget? I’m sure they make a LOT more than the $14.33/hr I am – and they expect me to pay more for everything while THEY make the big bucks. Something ain’t smellin’ too good here Yer Honor.

  2. Hewittel says:

    I think the Mayor should look elsewhere to house administrative offices, and keep the Green Lake Community Center “limited use”, if it has to be, for programs for the community. This is the most-used park in the state, and seems to be getting short shrift.