The Parks and Recreation Commission has forwarded a recommendation for a substantial renovation of DeYoung Park. I am unable to support that recommendation. There are two reasons for my lack of support, the cost and the process used to arrive at that proposed renovation.
The renovation recommendation is in excess of $700,000 for the park which is less a third of an acre in size. In my judgment, this is an excessive amount to be spent on such a small parcel of land. To spend this amount of money is in my opinion irresponsible. There are needed improvements that would increase the functional use of the park which could be done for a reasonable and responsible amount.
The process that the city used to arrive at this recommendation was flawed in my opinion. Instead of obtain a ballpark budget approval and then going to the public with a visioning process for the park, the staff did the visioning process without the ballpark budget from the Council. The staff will tell you they have the $700,000 in the budget so technically they have Council approval. The $700,000 is a place holder, not an approval. The staff is seeking the budget approval of the Council at its April 4th meeting.
Why the staff has chosen to do the public visioning before receiving Council budgetary authority is a valid question. When asked, staff replied that this was done as an “educational process.” I believe staff’s motive to be more blatant. I believe the visioning process was done before budgetary approval in an attempt to develop public support for this project to influence the Council’s approval at the excessive amount.
I hope the Council will assess the information and approval reasonable improvements for a reasonable amount for DeYoung Park at its April 4th meeting.
Paul O. Cowles, Woodinville