Mayor Nutter Appoints Parks and Rec Commission

Here's the press release:



Creation of new body overwhelming approved by voters at the ballot box in November


Philadelphia, July 2, 2009 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today the membership of the newly-created Commission on Parks and Recreation.

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in our quest to create the nation’s premier parks and recreation system,” said Mayor Nutter. “The nine individuals selected for the Commission share my vision for Philadelphia’s parks and recreation facilities and have demonstrated a commitment to public service. These are the guardians of the city’s treasures.”

Mayor Nutter made the announcement at Mander Playground at 33rd and Diamond where he was joined by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, Councilman Clarke, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis, and advocates from the parks and recreation community. The Commission will be responsible for setting written standards and guidelines for land use, green space preservation, and the acquisition, sale or long-term lease of park or recreation land or facilities.

Mayor Nutter, Council President Verna, Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, and Councilman Clarke announced on January 28, 2009, that the application process for those interested in serving on the Commission was open. Over 200 applications were received and a series of public hearings were held in City Council in which 149 applicants provided testimony. City Council submitted a list of 25 nominations to Mayor Nutter who chose the 9 appointees.

“I am thrilled that the selection process is complete so that I can begin working with the Commission to build a brighter future for our recreation centers and parks,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

“The nomination and selection of appointees was one of the most difficult things that I had to do as a Council person,” said Councilman Darrell Clarke. “Based on the high qualifications of each applicant having to choose nine people to fill the slots was a tedious process. I believe that the Mayor has done a great job with the representation of this highly qualified and broad based Commission that will represent the character of Philadelphia. They will provide significant guidance to the City of Philadelphia as we strive to enhance on the Parks and Recreation systems.”

The new Commission consists of 15 members: nine appointed by the Mayor from a list of 25 nominations submitted by City Council and compiled from over 200 applications; and six ex-officio members – the Commissioners of the Departments of Parks and Recreation, Water, Streets, and Public Property, the City Council President, and the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission.

The Commission was created as part of the amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, approved by the voters on November 4, 2008, which combined the Fairmount Park Commission and the Recreation Department to create the new Department of Parks and Recreation.

Last month Parks and Recreation Commissioner DiBerardinis released a draft document outlining the ‘Vision, Mission, and Goals’ of the new Department of Parks and Recreation. The draft reflects the views of more than 700 community partners and staff, who have reviewed the document since early May. Commissioner DiBerardinis and Departmental staff will visit neighborhoods across the city to meet with communities for their input on the new Department of Parks and Recreation.

The establishment of the new Commission, together with other recent changes including the merger of the Fairmount Park Commission and the Department of Recreation, will create a more transparent, more public, and more accountable management of Philadelphia’s parks and recreation facilities.

“This Commission will play an absolutely central role in shaping the future of parks and recreation in Philadelphia,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis. “The Commissioners will be looking at guidelines as well as regulations and legislation to consider best practices on protecting public land, and will report back to the Mayor and City Council with recommendations.”

Commission Member biographies

Nancy Goldenberg (Chair) is the Vice President of Planning for the Center City District.
Prior to joining Center City District, she administered the Natural Lands Restoration and Environment Education Program for the Fairmount Park Commission. She currently serves as head of the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods and is a past member of the Fairmount Park Advisory Council and a past board member of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance. Also, she was the founder of Outward Bound in Philadelphia. Nancy has lived adjacent to Fairmount Park for 27 years and is a regular user and volunteer.

Debra Wolf Goldstein is the president of Conservation Matters, LLC, a legal and consulting firm with a focus on land conservation issues. She is a member of the Fairmount Park Conservancy board and, since 2008, has served as the Mayor’s designee on the Fairmount Park Commission. Prior, she served as Vice President of the Fairmount Park Commission from 2002-2007.

Jeffrey Hackett is a Pest Control Technician with the School District of Philadelphia. He is the president of the Helen G. Sturgis Advisory Board, on the Executive Board of the Melrose Park Gardens Civic Association, and is a member of his local Police District Advisory Council and Eagle Eye Task Force.

Pete Hoskins is the former Director of Fairmount Park. Prior to working for the City for nearly 30 years, Pete spent 13 years working at the Philadelphia Zoo. He has had extensive community affiliations over the years.

Anthony Langford is an employee at PGW. He is the President of the Friends of East Fairmount Park and on the board of the Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation.

Leslie Anne Miller is a lawyer in private practice with thirty years of practice in both the private and public sector. She is active in a number of community organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Fairmount Conservancy and on the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Carol Rice is retired from the Department of Recreation after 35 years of service. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Warrington Township Park and Recreation Board and additionally volunteers her time through the Caring People Alliance, as a public school tutor, and as an active and long-time member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Carlos Rodriguez is the Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager at Beneficial Bank in Philadelphia. He has played baseball both recreationally and semi-professionally and is the President of Puerto Rico Stars, which offers free baseball clinics to youth in North Philadelphia each spring, among other programs.

Sarah Clark Stuart is the co-coordinator of the Schuylkill River Park Alliance and a consultant to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. She is a member of the board of the Lower Schuylkill River Users Association as well as the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. Sarah is a trail and bicycling advocate and active park user.

Ex-officio members

Bernie Brunwasser – Water Commissioner

Barbara Capozzi, Esq. – Designee of Council President Anna C. Verna

Michael DiBerardinis – Parks and Recreation Commissioner and Senior Adviser to the Mayor

Alan Greenberger – Executive Director, Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Joan Schlotterbeck – Public Property Commissioner

Clarena Tolson – Streets Commissioner