DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS: INVIGORATED EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

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DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS:
INVIGORATED EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP
Problem Identification:
It is doubtful that the City will ever be in a financial position to make more than incremental increases to the Department’s future budgets necessitating the installation of a management team eager to tackle the daunting challenge of providing a world-class recreational program and park facilities with a constantly threatened budget.

Recommended Action:
Attract new public, private, and non-profit sector financial investment to the Department of Recreation and Parks through the installation of a management team capable of articulating a new vision for the City’s recreation and parks system and reorganizing and reenergizing the staff to realize the new vision.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Organizational, Revenue Enhancement, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
Immediate

Next Steps:
The Mayor’s Office must make a determination as to whether the Department’s current management possesses the requisite skills necessary to manage the City’s recreation and park-related activities.

Analysis:
With a budget that represents approximately one percent of the City’s annual net operating budget, the Department will continually be confronted by the challenge of trying to meet ever-present and growing community needs for service with either a shrinking or modestly increasing budget. This challenge necessitates the pursuit of new approaches to managing the Department’s limited resources, including implementing entrepreneurial strategies to enhance existing revenues and creating new revenue streams.
The Department of Recreation and Parks must be infused with progressive, forward-thinking executive leadership capable of reorganizing and reengineering the staff to meet the daunting challenge of providing world-class recreation and parks services to the citizens of Baltimore. The decimation of the Department’s budget and the corresponding deterioration in the quantity and quality of recreation and parks services is well known. While the Mayor’s proposal to increase the Department’s budget’for the first time in recent memory’by $500,000 in FY2001 is welcome and warranted, it is doubtful that the City will ever be in a financial position to make more than incremental increases to the Department’s future budgets. This reality is regrettable, but it is nonetheless the reality that will confront the management of this Department. The leadership team must be less interested in documenting and discussing past injustices and more interested in embracing innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to address the formidable, but manageable, challenges that exist.