CITY OF SEATTLE
COUNCIL BILL 118055
AN ORDINANCE relating to creation of the Seattle Park District; requesting that a special election be held concurrent with the August 5, 2014 primary election, for submission to the voters residing within the City, a proposition to form the Seattle Park District.
WHEREAS, by Article XI of the City Charter, the Department of Parks and Recreation ("DPR") has the responsibility for the management and control of the City's public parks and green spaces; and
WHEREAS, DPR manages a 6,200-acre park system of 465 parks and extensive natural areas, including athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, two specialty gardens, and over 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails, and numerous recreational facilities, including 26 community centers, 8 indoor swimming pools, 2 outdoor (summer) swimming pools, 2 small craft centers, 4 golf courses, and an outdoor stadium; and
WHEREAS, the cost of the backlog of parks and recreation major maintenance work in 2014 is estimated at $267 million; and
WHEREAS, the City's Comprehensive Plan, Parks 2011 Development Plan and the 2014 Parks Legacy Plan outline key strategies, objectives and investments for preserving and improving parks, open spaces, facilities and programs; and
WHEREAS, the City has limited available current and future funding to pay for necessary preservation and maintenance of its existing parks and recreation facilities and programs and to make targeted investments toward creating innovative programs anticipating and responding to future needs; and
WHEREAS, by Resolution 31454 (May, 2013) the Mayor and City Council created the Parks Legacy Citizens' Advisory Committee ("Legacy Committee") to ensure citizen participation in the development of a potential ballot measure for funding operations, maintenance, development and acquisition of parks and recreation facilities and programs; and
WHEREAS, the Legacy Committee, after being duly appointed and after spending many hours in open meetings, receiving public testimony and deliberating, has recommended that the City Council initiate formation of a metropolitan park district, by placing before the voters within the boundaries of the City of Seattle a ballot measure to create the Seattle Park District ("Seattle Park District"); and
WHEREAS, the Legacy Committee recommended that, if a metropolitan park district were formed, measures be taken to provide for ongoing citizen oversight of district funds; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 35.61 RCW and other state law provides that a metropolitan park district may be created upon voter approval of a ballot proposition submitted to the voters of the proposed district, and that a metropolitan park district has certain statutory powers, including the power to levy and impose various taxes and fees to generate revenues to provide ongoing funding to maintain, operate and improve parks, community centers, pools, and other recreation facilities and programs; and
WHEREAS, the Seattle City Council has determined that formation of a metropolitan park district, to be called the Seattle Park District, that includes the entire area within the boundaries of the City of Seattle would enhance and stabilize the funding available for the current and future parks projects, programs and services within the City; and
WHEREAS, the Seattle City Council finds it to be in the interest of the City and its residents and businesses to place before the voters located within the boundaries of the City, a ballot proposition to establish a citywide metropolitan park district to provide stable, ongoing funding to maintain, operate and improve parks, community centers, pools, and other recreation facilities and programs throughout the City; and
WHEREAS, the City Council enacted Council Bill 118056, providing that, if voters approve formation of the Seattle Park District, the Mayor is authorized to sign an interlocal agreement with the newly formed District; and
WHEREAS, the interlocal agreement provides for, among other matters, continued City ownership of all park assets whether acquired with City or District funds; payment of all District funds to the City for park and recreation services; DPR staff supported by District funds to remain City employees; District budgeting coordinated with the City's regular budget process; continued parks funding from City General Subfund revenues, including a minimum baseline funding level annually adjusted by the Consumer Price Index; creation of a community oversight committee and a requirement that the Park District Board consider its recommendations, along with those of the City's community- based Board of Parks Commissioners and reports from independent sources in making decisions related to budgets, priorities and levies; compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and the city charter, including but not limited to prevailing wages, open public meetings, public records, ethics, and nondiscrimination; and termination and dissolution of the District; NOW THEREFORE,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Election -- Ballot Title. The City Council directs the City Clerk to file this ordinance with the Director of Elections of King County, Washington, as ex officio supervisor of elections. The Clerk shall request that the Director of Elections call and conduct a special election in the City of Seattle in conjunction with the primary election to be held on August 5, 2014, for the purpose of submitting to the voters within the boundaries of the City (which are the boundaries of the proposed district) a proposition to form the Seattle Park District as authorized under chapter 35.61 RCW. The City Clerk is directed to certify to the King County Director of Elections a ballot title in substantially the following form, with such changes as may be approved by the City Attorney:
THE CITY OF SEATTLE
PROPOSITION NUMBER 1
SEATTLE PARK DISTRICT
The City of Seattle Proposition 1 concerns formation of the Seattle Park District, a metropolitan park district.
This proposition would create the Seattle Park District to provide ongoing funding to maintain, operate and improve parks, community centers, pools, and other recreation facilities and programs. The District would have the same boundaries as the City of Seattle and be governed by a board composed of the Seattle City Councilmembers. It could exercise the powers given to metropolitan park districts in state law, including levying property taxes and contracting with the City to perform the District's functions.
[ ] For the formation of a metropolitan park district to be governed by the members of the Seattle City Council serving in an ex officio capacity as the Board of Commissioners of the Seattle Park District.
[ ] Against the formation of a metropolitan park district.
Section 2. Boundaries of the Seattle Park District. The boundaries of the Seattle Park District will be coterminous with the boundaries of the City of Seattle.
Section 3. Ratification. The City Clerk's certification to the King County Director of Records and Elections of the proposition in section 1 and any other acts taken after the passage of this ordinance and consistent with its authority, are hereby ratified and confirmed.
Section 4. Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force immediately upon the approval by the Mayor; but if returned by the Mayor unsigned, then immediately upon its return; or if not approved and returned by the Mayor within ten days after presentation, then on the 11 th day after its presentation to the Mayor; or if vetoed by the Mayor, then immediately after its passage over his veto.
Passed by the City Council the ____ day of ________________________, 2014, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its passage this
_____ day of ___________________, 2014.
President __________of the City Council
Approved by me this ____ day of _____________________, 2014
Edward B. Murray, Mayor
Filed by me this ____ day of __________________________, 2014.
Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk
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