Green Lake Budget Feedback to Tom Rasmussen – Save Green Lake Community Center

by Gayle Garman, FOGL President

Green Lake residents talked back to City Councilor Tom Rasmussen at the Green Lake library on Sat. Oct 16, saying that they objected to the 2011 City budget’s proposed takeover of the Green Lake Community Center to house Parks Dept offices previously located in the old Armory in South Lake Union while city-owned and leased offices elsewhere remain vacant.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is especially hard-hit by the budget. At Green Lake, the biggest reduction appears to be in programs at the Community Center, including very reduced hours for drop-ins at the gym. There are no plans to upgrade (or replace) our Community Center facility through 2016.

While not really a FOGL issue, we have worked with the Green Lake Community Council to get the roof to the (west) Bath House Theater repaired. As of today, it has not been repaired, and I know personally that it has leaked for at least the last 5 years. The budget does propose to replace the Bath House roof in 2011. Our Bath House is the only one in the City from that era that hasn’t been renovated (See 1920’s era Bath Houses at Seward Park, Magnolia, Golden Gardens & Madrona.)

In addition to the proposed cuts to GL Community Center programs and staff, the budget proposes moving operation of the Small Craft Center (rowing program located at the Aqua Theater) from the Parks Dept to the Associated Recreation Council and reducing hours at the Small Craft Center to 3 hrs/day on M-F only. Park maintenance (mowing lawns, pruning trees, emptying garbage cans, cleaning restrooms) will be significantly reduced, too. So what remains? Our wading pool is slated to operate 7 days per week in the summer, and both swimming beaches are slated to be open.

I urge you to contact City Council members Sally Bagshaw, Chairman of the Committee that oversees Parks and Recreation, Tom Rasmussen, Vice-Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, and other council members to express your concerns. Services in Green Lake neighborhood may be cut even further, if we give the impression we don’t care.