Friday, February 24, 2006

Parks Is Parks, Redux

A Report From A Nassau County Parks Watchdog Group

Bruce Piel, Chairman of Park Advocacy & Recreation Council of Nassau (PARCnassau), chimes in with his observations of the state of Nassau's public parks.

So what has been happening with Nassau County parks? Its a new year but the same old attitudes and problems. We have an absentee County Executive and a dysfunctional legislature to address many issues including parks. Lotsa Luck!

The administration upset over the cost of the cosmetic improvement made in parks just prior to the election is now tightening the purse strings which means little or no improvements to park facilities. The exception will be the misappropriation of monies from the Environmental Bond Bill voted in last year. Instead of preserving new undeveloped lands in Nassau, they will use it for day to day operations, despite the original intent of the Bond.

In addition, there is a hiring freeze again, put in place in all categories except Deputy Commissioners! Parks has hired a Deputy Commissioner for Finance and one for Museums, plus they are considering hiring one for Golf. In addition, they will be announcing a new Commissioner, finally replacing Doreen Banks who has been exiled in the Muttontown Preserve for a few years now. None of the new hires has suburban park experience, so we must suffer through their On-The-Job training instead of bringing aboard qualified people in the first place.

As always PARCnassau will keep you up to date on what is and is not happening in our county parks. Please let us know if your e-mail address changes and your reactions to park events.

Bruce Piel
Park Advocacy & Recreation Council of Nassau (PARCnassau)
246 Twin Lane East
Wantagh, NY 11793-1963
(516) 783-8378
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So, whatever became of the $50 million earmarked for Nassau's parks under the much touted Environmental Bond Act (even the website for the Nassau County EBA Program has disappeared from view), and what do we have to show for the $18 Million allocated under the “Nassau County Parks Are Making a Come Back” Campaign?

We are left to wonder, is there action beyond the press release, any hope of forward motion after the cameras have been turned off and the reporters have filed their stories?

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