Licata Proposes Cutting Parks Ballot Measure
City council member Nick Licata proposes cutting back a proposed parks ballot measure from $54 million to $38 million.
UPDATE: City council member Nick Licata tells PubliCola that he was merely floating an idea to reduce the amount of a proposed parks district, or to put a shorter-term levy on the ballot, but does not support reducing it. "If there's no sponsor, I don't think there's any reason to review it," he says.
City Council member Nick Licata reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would drastically reduce the size of a planned parks district proposal backed by Mayor Ed Murray at a special parks committee meeting after this afternoon's full city council meeting—a response, apparently, to opposition from neighborhood activists like the Seattle Displacement Coalition's John Fox (organized, apparently without irony, as a new PAC called "Our Parks Forever") to the mayor's $54 million proposal.
Licata's proposal would reduce the $54 million plan to around $38 million, cutting, among other programs, funding for the parks department's major maintenance backlog; restoration of community center hours; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; funding for P-Patches; and funding for greenways. (You can see the entire list of Licata's suggested reductions here).
Licata has not yet returned calls for comment.
However, city council president Tim Burgess says he supports only limited reductions to the parks levy, which is intended to make up for the fact that the last parks levy did not pay for any ongoing parks operations and maintenance. "I'm still in favor of $54 million," he says.
Council members Sally Clark and Mike O'Brien (a frequent Licata ally) agree; O'Brien says, "I support the mayor's proposal. Looking at the programs, I'm not sure what I would take out."