City's Parks & Rec Cuts: Restrooms, Pool Hours, Trash Pickup

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 29, 2009

The cuts will take effect next week – and they’ll hit almost every service the Parks and Recreation Department provides.  At parks, crews will pick up trash and mow the grass far less often … and restrooms at all but two parks will be closed.  Recreational swimming will be eliminated at five pools and have reduced hours at others.  Community centers will stay open – but not every day, and not as long as before.  And Jim Combs, the city’s Parks and Rec director, says parents will miss the day camps too.
Combs: “It’s like a day care program for their kids to be active, actively engaged, have good recreational and learning programs provided to them, and to be in a safe environment, while they’re working or away on some other functions.  So I think that’s going to be a huge loss for parents.” 

And Combs says it will now be up to the public to help the city keep parks clean.
Combs: “Put things in the proper receptacles; pick up glass if they see it broken.  And we already have many communities that are coming forward and are organizing to step up the maintenance in their local parks.”

Combs says he’s lost nearly half of his budget in the last two years.  But he says the cuts could still be avoided … if the union that represents the city’s non-public safety employees agrees to labor concessions.  Don’t count on that happening, though.  The two sides have not met in the last two weeks … and no new talks are scheduled.