Sunday, December 13, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Proposed Policy for Parks Profit

I wasn’t able to attend the Denver Parks and Recreation’s Advisory Board (PRAB) Hearings on Dec. 10 at the La Alma Recreation Center due to previous commitments, but fortunately for us, Channel 8 was there in full force to videotape the proceedings. (Let’s make sure that Channel 8 doesn’t suffer any more budget cuts. They provide us with an essential and easily accessible link to government transparency. So hats off to the hard working Channel 8 staff, and thank you very much.)

You can watch the entire proceeding from Channel 8 here. Of course, if you have Comcast, you could have watched it live. But I have satellite TV, and it is, lamentably, not available.

What I’ve done here is cut the 2 hours into bite-size chunks of various speakers. I’ve eliminated most of the work of PRAB chairperson Darrell Watson, who did a masterful job of keeping the hearings on track, without unnecessarily squelching the angry La Alma crowd, which was there to protest what they perceive as the closing of their Center. Although the City says it is looking for non-profit partners to “transition” to (and as far as I can find out, none has stepped forward), their intent seems to be to save money by closing at least 3 recreation centers.

Although the hearing was called to discuss two issues, the Admission-Based Event Policy (ABEP), and the Civic Engagement Policy, Watson, seeing the large contingent of La Alma protesters, wisely allowed 15 minutes for their statements. In this post, I’m only including one, Dean Sanchez.

After the La Alma conversation was closed, the ABEP hearing was opened by Cathy Donohue, who, as always, makes the issue very clear. The proposed Policy would be in violation of the City Charter.

Next up, speaking against the Policy, is Dave Felice, (a contributor to this blog) and proprietor of

Larry Ambrose represents INC, a coalition of over 60 neighborhood groups, speaking against.

Speaking in favor of the Policy proposal, is Councilman Chris Nevitt, who fears Denver may be "leaving some money on the table".

I've got to put up Steve Lang's comments, because he says the hearings and listening sessions are "fake".

If you still haven't had enough, there are 5 more clips in a playlist on YouTube.


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