I agree, as most of Durango would, that careful consideration of a $94 million annual budget is “noble,” but Jackie Caudill conflates the July 2019 update to the Parks, Open Space, Trails and Recreation Master Plan with the city’s annual budgeting process (“Ellen Stein has it wrong. And tourists don’t come for volleyball,” Oct. 15).
The proposed $300 million for Parks and Rec she references is the master plan that details community values and priorities identified through an extensive public process – 20 meetings with over 200 participants. It is a guiding document only, and identifies $300 million in capital improvement projects that would direct the city’s investments (not mandate them) over the next 10 years, and is quite different than the annual budgeting process.
Our newest councilors rejected approving the new master plan, which is disrespectful to the process and less than noble. Accepting the public’s articulated values, vision and priorities has been a no-brainer for previous councils, but our new councilors seem to think they know better than the public, advisory boards and professional staff.
Moving projects from vision to budget happens annually. It is here that decisions about “video gaming classes” or more janitorial money for the recreation center are made.
From many meetings attended, I’ve seen no indication that the public disagrees with Parks and Rec’s new master plan. We developed it!
My family and I have enjoyed many classes and activities at our wonderful Recreation Center over the years. It is discouraging to hear Ms. Caudill disparage this excellent, community-loved facility.