Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn
United States of America

On May 6th Mayor Bloomberg released the Fiscal Year 2011 Executive Budget. Despite the ardent testimony provided by park supporters at the City Council Parks and Recreation Committee’s Preliminary Budget hearings on March 23rd, additional cuts have been made to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

City funds appropriated to the Department have been further reduced from $258 million last year to $230 million -- almost $30 million cut. Unfortunately, the funding loss will heavily impact jobs and thus park maintenance. The reduction is a result of full-time staff loss through attrition and reductions in funding for seasonal positions.

In addition to the 377 full-time jobs cut from the Department, the budget proposes an additional 16.5% cut to the seasonal staffing budget, which represents a loss of 113 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions within the Department’s seasonal workforce. Considering that they are the main workforce during the peak spring and summer months, this will undoubtedly impact park maintenance, security, and special programs offered in parks.

The City Council works closely with the Mayor each year to develop and approve the city’s annual budget. A final budget for the next year will be adopted prior to the start of the Fiscal Year on July 1st. We urge you to sign this petition and write to your Council Members and Mayor Bloomberg in support of these essential restorations.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn,

We, the undersigned, call upon the City of New York to support our parks in these difficult fiscal times. The Executive Budget cuts Parks by nearly $30 million, with only $230 million allotted in City Tax Funds. This is still less than half of one percent of city spending.

We ask for the following budget restorations:

• $10 million to restore Job Training Participants (JTP) in the Parks Opportunity Program (POP). POP provides paid transitional employment and training for vulnerable New Yorkers who keep our parks clean and safe year-round.

• $2 million to prevent the closure of four swimming pools and a swimming season shortened by two weeks. This funding pays our lifeguards and allows facilities to remain open.

• $5 million to restore seasonal staff positions. Seasonal staff are hired on for the busy summer season in parks.

• $3 million to fund tree pruning, cut last year and not restored, leaving our many new trees without regular pruning.

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The Please Don't Cut NYC's Parks Budget petition to Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn was written by New Yorkers for Parks and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.