Saturday, August 30, 2014
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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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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@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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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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