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Carlsbad looks at parks and recreation programs

CARLSBAD — In light of the economic downturn, City Council looked at options for getting more return on investments into city parks and recreation programs.
An outside consultant gave a presentation to council June 9 regarding the Parks and Recreation programs.
The consultant, Karon Badalamenti, from Colorado-based GreenPlay Consultants, presented council with a plan for a new fee structure to help achieve this goal.
The city Parks and Recreation programs have a 22 percent recovery rate, she said, meaning they recover $1 for every $22 spent, Badalamenti said. The national average is 30 to 35 percent, so she outlined ways to make changes to bring Carlsbad more in line with other cities. However, she recommended any change occur gradually.
Badalamenti recommended a pyramid structure, such as increasing fees for programs and services used by only a small portion of the population. One example would be youth sports programs only open to those who make the team. The idea, she said, is to increase cost recovery for programs and services limited to a specific group.
She also recommended that parks such as those with hiking trails, and programs with greater general community benefit, remain free to the public.

1 comment

Leucadian June 22, 2009 at 6:57 am

The three man majority on Council in Encinitas recently voted so that ONLY youth sports leagues do not have to pay any fees for use of public facilities. All other groups, including surf camps, and now yoga instructors offering an early morning class in the park or on the beach, must pay per student fees.

Additionally, Council had raised all fees for Seniors and others at the Community Center. Although far fewer building permits are being pulled, those fees were also increased, across the board, after a steep increase in 2005. In a time of recession, rather than cutting back on staff and contractors, or staff hours, the citizens of Encinitas are required to dig into diminishing funds for higher and higher fees.

The ONLY exception is sports leagues. This is blatant catering to special interests. People can try to make their position clear by voting out Dan Dalager when he comes up for reelection. The power of the incumbency is so strong that we are stuck with James Bond, despite his having given his word that he was retiring from office, and stuck with Jerome Stocks for at least three more years.

I feel certain most people would support term limits, if that were offered on a ballot.

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