Sunday, January 25, 2015

Council To Consider Merging Agencies Overseeing Parks

City Council's Committee on Law and Government will hold its first hearing tomorrow morning on legislation that would ask voters if they want to combine the functions of the Fairmount Park Commission and city's Department of Recreation. Council members Darrell Clarke and Blondell Reynolds Brown have proposed a change to the city's Charter to create the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Council To Consider Merging Agencies Overseeing Parks

City Council's Committee on Law and Government will hold its first hearing tomorrow morning on legislation that would ask voters if they want to combine the functions of the Fairmount Park Commission and city's Department of Recreation.  Council members Darrell Clarke and Blondell Reynolds Brown have proposed a change to the city's Charter to create the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Mayor Nutter backs the idea, saying it would help the city coordinate more efficient services.  Nutter spoke today during the release of a report by The Trust For Public Land, created for the Philadelphia Parks Alliance.  That report found that the economic benefit of Philadelphia's parks far exceeds the amount the city spends to maintain them.

Nutter has boosted funding for Fairmount Park by $2.5 million for the fiscal year that starts on July 1 and wants a 46 percent increase in funding over the next five years. "There's still work to be done," Nutter said. "But I think the opportunity is right here, right now, especially with this report. Everyone is recognizing the true value of parks."

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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