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Public invited to participate in budget process

October 21, 2018

A message from Park Board President Andrea Smith

Every two years, Metro Parks Tacoma does a deep dive into its revenues, and expenditures to develop a two-year spending plan that best meets the community’s needs.

Our number crunching for 2019-2020 began in earnest in July. The goal is to adopt operations and construction budgets by early December so they are in place by the start of the new year.

We’re dedicated to an open, transparent process that enables residents to both review and contribute to our efforts. Budget preparation, as we view it, is a way to both plan and evaluate programs and services for the next two years, and examine the fiscal sustainability of our operations. We’re taking a hard look at how we spend taxpayer money to make sure the results are worthwhile.

For guidance, we rely substantially on our Strategic Master Plan, a six-year outline updated earlier this year, and our Mission-Led Comprehensive Program Plan, which we use to determine programming based on demand, need and community priorities.

As part of our commitment to transparency, you’re invited to get involved as we proceed from draft budget documents to refined versions.

Budget Timeline:

  • November 5 at 5:30 p.m. Executive Director Shon Sylvia will present those budget proposals to the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners, meeting in a workshop session as the Committee of the Whole.
  • November 13 at 6 p.m. Public Hearing #1 and Board meeting with opportunity for public to give input.
  • November 26 at 6 p.m.  Public Hearing #2 and first reading of the budget resolution at the board meeting with opportunity for public to give input.
  • December 10  at 6 p.m. A second reading of the budget resolution and board vote is scheduled.

All meetings are held at the Metro Parks Tacoma main office in the Board Room. Map it.

As president of the five-member Metro Parks Board of Commissioners, I believe that budget oversight and approval is one of the board’s most important duties. It is our job to make sure that financial assumptions are reasonable and prudent, yet not overly optimistic. We listen to residents who point out what’s important, and we make sure Metro Parks provides equitable services throughout our district.

I hope you’ll participate in the process.

Andrea Smith was first elected to the five-member Metro Parks Board of Park Commissioners in 2011 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in November 2017. She is serving her second year-long term as board president.