This affects all of us

RCF & other STL-area Clubs' News, Q & A, and Conversation

Re: This affects all of us

Postby Stubborn Puppet on Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:28 pm

Despite not getting much of a turnout from the disc golf community, as I feel we should have seen, this was a really big meeting. There were hundreds and hundreds of people here. There are 250 seats in the council chambers and they were all full, there were monitors out in the lobby where hundreds of people stood to watch and even more people outside with signs. 96 people signed up to address the council on the microphone and were each given a 2 minute limit (which was actually exceeded by most). The council clerk asked several times that people in the chambers refrain from applause and commenting to help speed things along, but that wasn't happening. Every person who took the podium had something intelligent, thoughtful and important to say and everyone got a huge ovation.

The meeting started at 6pm, took two five minute breaks and didn't end until just before 10pm. At the end, the County Executive, Charles Dooley, and the rest of the council reps roughly stated that, "due to the obvious outrage and overwhelming support for our county parks system, we will not move forward with any budget that proposes the closing of any parks or the lay off of any parks employees... there has got to be another way to balance this budget and it is apparent that the parks mean too much to our quality of life and more revenue is indirectly generated by the parks system for closures to be the solution."

So, we're safe for now but it just highlights how imperative it is for US, the residents of the St. Louis area, to continue to show our support for our treasures (parks) in a way that emphasises good will and respect. Keep them clean, report vandals to the authorities, volunteer your time when you can, thank a parks employee in person when you see them and always leave them better than how you found them.

Thanks to Chris K, Greg D and Mark D. for showing up.
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Re: This affects all of us

Postby mkane on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:24 am

I have never been a fan of the County Parks, I think that they now have a real problem. Dooley is a good man in the sense that he is actually finally doing his job, and basically his message is simple. The park system is over-budget, and not just a little, the annual parks system budget is in the 20 million dollar a year category. In my opinion, that is an astronomical amount. Now, current spending has pushed the budget to 28 million, at least 8 million dollars over-budget, and that has been happening for the past couple years.
So let's be realistic, something is gonna get closed or they need to balance the budget. Based on the buearcrats prepensity to grow government, and publics addiction to big government inserting itself in every aspect of our lives, do you really think they will want to actually work to reduce the budget? The answer is no, not on there own, not when someone says spend 20 mil and let them spend 28 mil!
Perhaps we can develop some kind of solutions, I can think of one, start laying off some of the non-essential personnel, start with any new position or department developed within the past 10 years. I am tired of the assistant to the assistant director of the managers assistant to the park system chairman format where somebody is just so overworked they feel the need to expand government. I am also tired of them trying to justify that they need a 20 million dollar annual budget, and then run over by not a couple grand but 8 million, get it together St. Louis County Parks, that is pathetic :cry:
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Re: This affects all of us

Postby Chris K on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:45 am

One point that kept showing up at the meeting was the park system has been targeted for years when money needed to be diverted for other projects. Apparently the park system is an easy account to tap. It is no wonder that they are woefully under budget and continue to be told to cut services or staff. The County has a 10 million shortfall and 4.8 million of it is falling on the park's shoulders (once again). The council assured those in attendance that they would not vote to close any parks and would spread the shortfall more evenly across the board. They also asked that the community offer ideas to make it all work.
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