Your opinion counts for parks | Colleen Smidt

A few months back, one of my columns was about my appointment to the City of Bremerton Parks and Recreation Commission and the requirement by the State of Washington for an update to the city’s Open Spaces Plan.

The citizen survey portion of the update is now available and awaiting your participation.

You can locate the survey electronically here, www.ci.bremerton.wa.us/articles.php?id=2034.

Paper copies of the survey are available through the parks and recreation office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The office is located in the Sheridan Park Community Center, 680 Lebo Blvd.

The city of Bremerton strives to put forth the best parks and recreation services it can with available funding.

Currently, an update to the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces plan is underway. This update will take nearly a year to complete.

A critical component to this update is the inclusion of citizen opinions just like your’s. We want to hear from you.

In the past six years, economic conditions have altered the level of available funding and changed the way in which funding decisions are made.  Reductions in revenue have brought financial challenges to the city parks programs through several years of budget and staff reductions.

While the ongoing utilization and partnering of private donations, public grants and volunteers with existing local tax resources has allowed a certain amount of improvements and accomplishments to continue, all available options going forward need to be explored and considered.

This is where you come in.

The parks and recreation department can only hope to continue on the path of providing fully maintained parks, complete programs of recreational activities, community services and future improvements if we hear from you.

Be honest. Let us know what portion of the existing parks inventory you use and enjoy; what parks or programs you give a high priority to and what you don’t.

Your answers will help this plan be more responsive to what the citizens of Bremerton want to see for future parks and service.

As you complete the survey and answer the questions, you should note that there are several opportunities available for you to comment in your own words. Please do so. There are no wrong answers here.

By taking the time to complete this survey, you will help determine the future direction of parks and recreation services for the city of Bremerton.

Your time is much appreciated.

Colleen Smidt is a longtime resident of Bremerton who writes about politics and community issues.


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