DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS:RECONSTITUTED RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD

2-B

Problem Identification:
There exists a need to provide more meaningful external advice on the management of the Department and the establishment of its service priorities.

Recommended Action:
Reconstitute a Recreation and Parks Board by establishing an executive/policy board reporting directly to the Deputy Mayor who heads the proposed Mayor’s Cabinet of Children and Youth to advise the City on strategic initiatives, provide regular structured community feedback, and assist in raising public, private, and non-profit sector funding levels.

Classification:
Organizational, Revenue Enhancement

Functional/Operational Area:

All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:

$1,000,000

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
60 days

Next Steps:
Evaluate the capabilities of the current Board of Recreation and Parks, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and make strategic appointments to bolster its ability to advise the Department and Administration on realizing improvements in recreation and parks services.

Analysis:
The Board of Recreation and Parks is one of the City’s seven Charter-authorized boards and commissions. Whereas these groups once played a very significant role in setting and directing policy for their respective areas, the role of these groups has been reduced over the years.

An active and involved board could be a tremendous asset to the Department. Given the tremendous operational, financial, and fundraising challenges that confront the Department, a reconstituted board could be a resource capable of providing tangible support to manage the implementation of many of the recommendations contained within this report. A well-constructed board membership could particularly play an instrumental role in increasing fundraising levels beyond their current levels. The $1,000,000 estimated annual impact represents a goal for increased fundraising beyond existing levels.

Ultimately, the contributions that an advisory board can make towards changing the organizational culture within the Department and providing meaningful advice on policy directions and programmatic initiatives will be completely dependent upon the Department’s and Administration’s use of this resource. Given the Department’s many pressing needs, strong consideration should be given to making better use of this potentially important resource and expanding its significance by elevating its status to an executive/policy level board.