This past December, the Mayor’s Office issued budget instructions asking the Recreation and Park Department to reduce its General Fund support for fiscal year 2011-2012 by 10 percent – equal to $2.6 million. In addition to meeting that reduction target, the department had to absorb all non-salary cost increases and the loss of one-time revenue, bringing its total initial budget reduction to $4.6 million.
The department met $660,000 of that target through current year budget savings. Using budget balancing principles that the Recreation and Park Commission adopted in 2010, the department met its remaining $4.0 million budget challenge with $3.4 million in increased revenue and $600,000 in expenditure savings.
The department’s budget for 2011-2012 includes no layoffs and requires no fee increases or reductions to facility hours. It does increase funding for scholarships, adds a second gardener apprentice class and expands hours at the department’s swimming pools. This preservation of services was made possible by the difficult choices that the department made in the 2010-2011 budget and our commitment to administrative efficiencies as best evidenced by reductions of nearly $500k in workers comp and overtime costs.
Through its emphasis on new, appropriate sources of revenue and its commitment to improving services, as evidenced by its new recreation delivery model, the department’s budget work in the past year has laid the foundation for recovery and made the choices for the coming fiscal year a little easier.
Board of Supervisors Budget Hearings for RPD are June 23rd and June 30th. Please come out and support the Department and help ensure NO MORE CUTS!!!!
With a goal of improved customer service and efficiency, In the past two years we have reorganized recreation, aquatics, permits and reservations, and volunteer and community outreach functions. Next up: custodians. Thanks to the great work of our Superintendent of Parks and Open Space, Ana Alvarez and Rec and Park’s dedicated custodians, we will be implementing a new custodial model in the fall. CustodIans will be reallocated across the City to better reflect park and facility user needs. Our new plan will also include an as-needed custodial pool to ensure coverage during vacations and extended absences. Overall, you will see more consistent custodial services in your parks and facilities.
Bob Palacio Named Superintendent of Recreation and Community Services
Bob Palacio has been serving as the Department’s Acting Superintendent of Recreation & Community Services over the last year and a half as we went through the challenging but highly productive work of designing and implementing our new recreation service delivery model. As we approach the first year anniversary of our very successful implementation, which has seen an increase in both quantity and quality of recreational programming throughout our system, we are very pleased to announce that Bob’s no longer “acting.”
Bob has very ably led our recreation team, understands the importance of community involvement and communication in recreation planning and customer service. He is clearly the right person to lead our Recreation and Community Services Division. Congrats Bob!
Sharon Art Studio raises $23K for Japan Tsunami Relief— This month, our fabulous staff at the Art Studio presented a check for $23,000 to the American Red Cross after a successful fundraising event that featured tea bowl sales, Japanese food and demonstrations of Japanese art and culture. I am extremely proud of this group and their selfless efforts to provide relief to those in need.
Our Spring Eggstravaganza in April was extremely successful. More than 6,000 people came out to Sharon Meadow to enjoy the day, which featured carnival rides, games, jumpy houses and live entertainment. Spring Eggstravaganza is one of four citywide family events we host each year, including our upcoming Play Day on the Green in summer.
Access to Adventure- In partnership with Support for Families, Rec and Park hosted this event at the Bandshell in Golden Gate Park on May 7, highlighting all of the programs and services available to children with special needs.
Mission Playground Groundbreaking—On May 11, District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener joined the City Fields Foundation in celebrating the start of a $7.5 million renovation of Mission Playground, clubhouse and pool and the installation of a new synthetic turf soccer field. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2012.
Gene Friend Recreation Center Improvements— On May 12, the city celebrated recent improvements to the weight room and sports court at Gene Friend Recreation Center at SoMa, thanks to a generous donation from the Friend Family. Gene Friend Recreation Center is named in honor of the late-Eugene Friend, a longtime activist and Recreation and Park Commissioner. The recreation center is used by a variety of students and residents in the South of Market neighborhood, where open space is extremely limited.
Baby Bucket Swings – Thanks to a $5,000 grant secured by NPC, RPD was able to recently purchase 41 baby bucket swings and replacement parts. Their structural maintenance crews are currently installing the swings at Julius Kahn Playground, Precita Park, Joseph Alioto Performing Arts Piazza (Civic Center), Mission Playground, St. Mary’s Rec Center, Mountain Lake Park, and Crocker Amazon Playground. Be sure to check out these playgrounds and start putting them to good use! Click here to view photos of new swings being installed at Mountain Lake Park.