As we have reported previously, Mayor McGinn’s proposed 2011-2012 city budget would transform the Green Lake Community Center into a “Limited-Use” site. Offices would be moved to the top floor of the Green Lake Community Center, displacing many classes and programs.
However, until now, we have not heard it said that this change would be permanent.
Yesterday (Oct. 25, 2010), the Seattle City Council’s Budget Committee met. The Seattle Channel has made video of the meeting available:
At 98:12, Councimember Nick Licata asks: “The offices that are moving to Green Lake Community Center – those are on a temporary basis, or those are on a permanent basis?”
Legislative Analyst Kieu-Anh King responded: “Those are permanent moves.”
Licata then pointed out that the drop-in numbers at Green Lake Community Center are “phenomenal, twice as high as the next one.”
King responded that he felt that the Parks Department was collecting data in an inconsistent manner. “Class data is easy to track,” he said, “because you register online and you pay for it. Drop-in is collected by a once-a-month count by the person at the front desk with a clicker, and that actual methodology doesn’t necessarily result in the most consistent figures being drawn from year-to-year. Green Lake does have a lot of drop-in visits. That may be because they count every person who walks in the door, to ask where one of the other facilities is, as a drop-in user. It doesn’t necessarily mean that that a person came, used the service, and stayed at the center.”
King then confirmed that drop-in hours at the Green Lake Community Center would shrink from 46 hours a week to 15-20 hours a week.
Beth Goldberg, Director of the City Budget Office, followed up by explaining that Green Lake “was selected in part because it has a different utilization. It is the center of a large park that draws a lot of people. It does not have the same level of programming as the other facilities. People are dropping in, using the restroom, things of that nature. They will still be able to do that as it forms into a Visitors’ Center.”
Moving staff into the Green Lake Community Center, Goldberg said, “would have less programmatic impact than other facilities around the city.”
Final decisions about the 2011 City Budget are now in the hands of City Council.
City Council has held two public hearings about the budget and Councilmember Rasmussen hosted a community discussion in Green Lake. There will be a third and final public hearing tonight. You can find more details here.
Until tomorrow at 5 p.m., you can share your thoughts with City Council via the online tool IdeaScale.
Contact information for individual City Council members can be found here. Jean Godden, Finance and Budget Committee Chair, confirmed today that the City Council will continue to accept written and e-mailed comments on the budget up to the date that they adopt the final budget, which is anticipated to be Nov. 22.