Sunday, January 6, 2008

Public Parks along Floyds Fork Creek, Lou., KY.

Please write, call or email your Councilperson right away to ask for SUNSHINE and protection for our public parks.
If you don’t know who your councilperson is, call 574-6100 Board of Elections. Then Dial 574-1100 to ask for the email, phone #, address, and if you can speak before Metro Council at their next meeting.
· FFEA is holding a meeting Jan. 9 at 6:30pm at Jeffersontown Library, 10635 Watterson Trail.
· Metro Council will vote for new Chairpersons of Committees (perhaps Monday, Jan. 7) and potentially/tentatively there could be a meeting of the Metro Council Committee on Parks, Libraries and Cultural Activities on Jan. 14 (maybe at 3pm at City Hall) – but call 574-1100 to ask if this is correct. Your action is important.
So far, Dec. 10 this committee allowed Dan Jones and Mike Heitz to speak (no citizens could speak) and the Resolution and Contract were “tabled” so citizen groups could speak at the next meeting.
Then on Dec. 12, we spoke before the Meto Parks Advisory Board and they are not scheduled to meet until Feb. – call 456-8131 to ask for any meeting date.
Dec. 13, this could have had its first reading if it had been passed Dec. 10 & Dec. 12 and had final passage Dec. 20.
Please act now – call your councilperson 574-1100
This is the information given to the full Metro Council Dec. 20.

TO: Metro Council
FROM: Teena Halbig, Co-Chair FFEA
6505 Echo Trail
Louisville, Ky. 40299
DATE: 12-20-07

As Co-Chair FFEA, I have been active to preserve, conserve and protect Floyds Fork Creek and its tributaries for 16 years. I have served on the private board of Future Fund in 1996 and then on government’s Parks(later, Metro Parks) Advisory Board as a Commissioner (appointed by Mayor David L. Armstrong and reappointed by Mayor Jerry Abramson – serving 4 years up to 2005).

It is important that Metro Council look at several aspects of the bodacious asking of a private 8 member board to take precious public parkland without public accountability and without significant government representation. FFEA recommends an amendment to the agreement making this board subject to Kentucky Open Meetings and Open Records Acts (document attached) as well as other corporations established by 21st Century (example: 21st Century Parks Endowment, Inc. is a separate corporation and should be subject to open meetings and open records. In fact, with the federal monies 21st received, they may already be subject to sunshine and just don’t know it!

I have a petition asking Metro Council to hold a public hearing attached. Please get a good understanding of “easements”.

It is alarming that 21st Century CEO Dan Jones wants to privatize and take control of our 3 public parks: Floyds Fork Park, Tyler-Schooling Park and William F. Miles Park. Everyone was blindsided Dec. 3 with this shocking news. Dec. 10, Metro Council Parks, Libraries and Cultural Activities Committee met as a Resolution and Contract about this matter was on the table; however, citizens were not allowed to speak. Dec. 12, Metro Parks Advisory Board Commissioners met and moved to a larger location to accommodate the crowd and did allow public input. Just as Metro Council Committee members had questions, so did the Commissioners.

At this last meeting, Dan Jones conceded to back off the takeover of public parkland in “perpetuity”. Dan referred to Central Park in New York in both meetings. It is vital that Metro Council knows “The City of New York retains control and policy responsibility for Central Park.” The city has a ‘management contract’ with the Central Park Conservancy that began in 1998 and was renewed for another 8 years on 4-27-06. Millions of dollars are being generated within the parks (much like KY State Fairground vendors for concessions pay a percentage to operate there) that this is generating millions of dollars for government that no doubt results in less taxes being levied on the public! Please think fiscally and investigate or do a study before handing over public land worth millions of dollars that could generate millions of dollars of income for government. “ Private deals can be made with for-profit entities without sunshine that will generate revenues. What about naming rights?
Furthermore, regarding Central Park, “Capital improvements in the Park ... continue to undergo public review (and The Conservancy involves the public in the planning of any improvements) at each stage of development with advice and consent from the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation. The City of NY/Parks & Recreation has discretion over all events in the Park, and that will continue. At present, all revenues generated from concessions in the Park go into the City of New York’s general fund…”

Additionally, there are 8 Advisory boards of community residents and park users that help develop The Conservancy plans – just like Metro Parks does! Master Plans can be changed and the contract does not involve Metro Council in changes!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Public Parks

This site provides a forum for discussion and debate on  public parks policy, and issues of privatization, community democratic management, design, finance and operations.