City Parks Team
Thursday, February 17, 2005 
Rose Room-City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Meeting Notes
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Chair: Amanda Fritz
Secretary: Alesia Reese

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM. 

I.

Introduction
Amanda Fritz introduced herself and Alesia Reese as Interim Leadership for 6 months. She explained how a steering group met in January to organize the meeting. She provided an overview of the group's formation.

Meeting Location
Rose Room was chosen for its central location, free access and the initial statement of meeting in City Hall.

Meeting schedule was determined to be the third Thursday each month. This date was chosen because it does not conflict with most neighborhood association meetings.

Format   Presentation will be scheduled each month
                  Single-issue groups are invited
                  Chair will coordinate agenda
                  Secretary will prepare and distribute meeting notes.
Goals

  1. Power of group participation 
  2. Foster district and coalition parks' committee
  3. Activate business and volunteer contacts
  4. Connect good communication directly to Parks' Bureau Staff
Participants (modeled after the City Land Use Group)
  1. Open participation, open invitation
  2. Parks Team will not take positions on issues
  3. Participants will not represent the Parks' Team on individual issues
Communication
  1. List Serve (Paula) will be established
  2. Phil Pennington (with assistance) will create website

  3. Alesia will maintain meeting notes and Team records


II
Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation Budget Prevention
Robin Grimwade             (Power Point Presentation)
A. Misson-2020 Vision Plan based
   1. To sustain a healthy parks system 
   2. Develop a planning framework including a 5 year business plan
B. List of Park’s services: dynamic process which is needs a constantly evolving planning process 
   1. Assets
   2. Planning
C. Restructure of the Bureau: system changed whereby geographic distribution will become a focus.
D. Key Challenges
   1. Sustainable diversified revenue base
   2. Care for aging and deteriorating infrastructure
   3. Provide equity of service
   4. Create strong and lasting alliances and partnerships
   5. Build public awareness, appreciation and understanding
   6. Improve work systems and processes
E. Financial Aspects
Discussion of City General Fund Total, where Parks’ gets 10% of the General Fund revenue. Some revenue is discretionary, some are not. Mayor Potter requested 5% cut from all bureaus.
Issues: Explanation of revenue restrictions
   1. Revenue 
   2. Cap on public utility franchise fees
   3. Higher inflation rates
   4. Health care costs increases
F. Parks’ Revenue Overview
  General Fund 57%   Endowment Fund  1% Trust Fund 2%
  PIR 2% (self-sustaining)   Golf Fund (self-sustaining) 8%
  Levy Fund 14%     Construction Fund 16%
G. Challenges: What to cut? What to Protect? What to enhance?
With what revenue? Information gathering occurred. 
Result: program based cuts
   1. Statistical survey results
   2. Strategic planning
   3. Zero based budget process
H. Targeted budget reduction packages
   1. Reorganization of Bureau including reduction of staff and 
management positions.
   2. Immediate service reduction
   3. One time funding (12-24 months) to allow for the transition
of smaller, older facilities or programs to other service
providers or to self-sufficiency.
   4. Increase cost recovery
      a. Increasing fees
      b. Decreasing operating costs
      c. Improve work methods
      d. Grants and partnerships
I. 2005-2006 Requested Budget 
   1. Protect and strengthen programs
   2. Focus on the whole system, not on isolated issues
   3. Align budget to core mission 
   4. Ensure ,long-term sustainability
J. Budget Work Sessions and Presentations
(attachment) 
Participants are encouraged to monitor the Bureau website
for budget work sessions, dates, times and locations.
Public presence at budget sessions is important.
Participants are encouraged to speak in terms of the system
rather than specific issues. Explain the system and its
importance during pubic comment opportunities.
 
Question and Answer Session

Q.  Community Garden Program Reduction-discussion?
A.  The program cuts are not about abolishing, but with reducing services
        initially. The goal is to partner with others.

Q. The issue of separating Parks activities from Recreation activities;
Even though schools have their own financial problems, couldn't they operate their own school programs?
A.  In the past, most of the cuts came from the operational budget. Most
of the cuts this time are directed to the recreational programs. Prior
years it was Parks, people say now to protect the core infrastructure.
Increased revenue may bring back recreational programs.

Discussion: Community and after school program cuts would allow the
Bureau to start with a clean slate. Many schools are proposed to close
This approach would release the Bureau from dealing with those actives.

Q. Will there be enterprise fund cuts?
A. No cuts are planned, but there is an expectation to grow revenues.
There is currently a big backlog of capital improvements, but we
expect revenue to grow.

Q. Pie (from Pie Chart in presentation) Where is parks' acquisition to
    come from?
A.  The Trust Fund program. We have a special need for acquisitions
for growth and deficiencies. Acquisition is a major challenge.
Acquisition adds to operating and maintenance costs. Land costs are
rising and will be difficult if we don't convince Council we need funds
for operating and maintenance. When we do acquire property, what's
The point of acquiring and developing property if you can't maintain it.

Discussion: Participants requested a meeting to discuss acquisition.
Suggestion was made to get "in line" for land acquisitions.

Q. When was the last independent audit (of the Park's Bureau budget)?
A. About every 5 years. (On the website)

Q. What was the result of the audit?
A. The audit dealt with systems and processing, it was not an audit  I expected or am accustomed to.

Discussion: Agreement of participants to enter into the budget planning
process earlier next year. 

Q. "Truing up the system" seems over enthusiatic will fee structure-
will this work? (based on reconciling budget in power point presentation).
A.  Over a period of time, yes. We plan to become more sophisticated with
Greater skills and experience with marketing tools.

Q. What funding ideas do you have?
A.  This group needs to talk about creative ways to make money. Decide
     What facilities and services you want and how you want to pay for them.
     Think now about the 2007-2008 budget and
-Revenue building ideas
        -Neighborhood priorities
        -Strategy of repositioning issues

Thank you to Robin Grimwade (and staff) for his time and effort. 



III 
Open Team Discussion
Amanda facilitated the comment period.

Goals
-Lessons to be learned from one another about projects and processes
-Understanding of City budget process and Team's influence
-Determine methods and strategies that work (and those that don't)

Meeting 
-Each meeting will have a concept, presentation or focus
-Third Thursday each month
-7:00 PM starting time, with a 5 minute transition period
-Location Discussion

Same Location  
  • would allow for familiarity with the location
  • participants become accustomed to process
  • Maintain participation level
Different Locations
  • would allow individuals to get to know challenges in other quadrants of the city
  • those unfamiliar with the location may not attend
  • allow presentation of individual projects on site

Discussion: start by being in one space to allow people to get 
Accustomed to the Team. As the Team becomes more familiar, will
look for other locations, especially in better weather. List of potential
meeting sites is attached. Other sites were examined.
Requirements: third Thursday

7:00 -9:00 PM meeting window
Handicap and transit access
No fees or costs 
Decision: March and April Meetings in the Rose Room.

Encourage use of transit opportunities
Parking availability (1st/2nd and Jefferson, Smart Park)

Funding will be provided by ONI (Brian Hoop). EPNO Director Richard
Bixby will provide mailings.

Website will be created and maintained by Phil Pennington (with assistance
from Team volunteers).

List Serve will be established and maintained by Paula. 
Team must be responsible, courteous and respectful when using List Serve.
Call individuals for further discussions; do not use the service for personal
Issues.

Information-Communication Methods

  1. Cable Cast could be available for airing
  2. Mailing volunteers needed to stuff envelopes
  3. Dedicate Liaison with Parks individual to communicate with staff
  4. Meeting Notes Alesia will provide them for dispersal
  5. Community and Neighborhood Newsletters


Meeting Topics       Response/Comments
Coalition and Individual group presentations  _____

Parks Board Structure      _____

Parks Foundation       _____

Volunteering in Parks      _____

Use expertise and training     _____

Maintenance and Staff Information   _____

Acquisitions        _____

Stream Restoration Process     _____

How to work with Parks      _____

Pesticides        _____

Membership
Participants examined the various methods of inclusion and agreed
that the Team would be "self-selected". All members of the community
are invited. If the Parks' Bureau chose to send a representative, that
would be a Bureau decision. 

With thanks to all, the meeting was adjourned approximately 9:00 PM.



Respectfully submitted,
Alesia J. Reese 
Interim Secretary 
City Parks Team
02-17-05
alesiajmr@yahoo.com
503.253.4414
      Before 10 AM
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