LETTER TO THE EDITOR | On the new strategic plan for Seattle's community centers

Magnolia’s community center offers valuable programs to the public, including kids’ basketball, soccer, volleyball, and carpentry; pottery classes; exercise classes for all ages, and many other programs. However, the center is showing its age, and does not have enough space or staffing to support our growing community. During the recession, the City reduced the center’s hours open to the public to 36 hours per week. This Fall, the City was going to close the center completely on Saturdays due to staff cuts, but changed their mind at the last minute. Imagine our kids having to scramble to find other recreational opportunities because all of Magnolia’s popular Saturday programs would have been discontinued.  The mayor just released a draft strategic plan for improving community centers. However, the plan does not include any additional public hours of operation for Magnolia, and does not provide adequate funding for operations or facility expansion. With a population of over 19,000 people and growing, Magnolia’s community deserves better.  One wonders where all the taxes collected by the recently created Parks Metropolitan District to fund parklands and facilities are going.

The Parks Committee is currently seeking public input on the mayor’s proposal.  Community members who value the Magnolia community center’s programs and reinstatement of open hours are urged to learn more about the proposal and lend their voice. To learn more, submit comments, or get information about the public hearing on October 27, visit: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/policies-and-plans/community-center-strategic-plan.

Comments can also be sent to the City Council Parks Committee:
Debora Juarez, Chair: debora.juarez@seattle.gov;
Sally Bagshaw, Vice Chair: sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov;
Bruce Harrell, Member: bruce.harrell@seattle.gov;
Kshama Sawant, Alternate: kshama.sawant@seattle.gov.


The Magnolia Community Center Advisory Council

Marti MacDougall, President

Kacey Kroeger, Vice President

Cyrilla Cook, Secretary

Michael Durnan

Dan Penhollow

Lotchie Kerch