Proposed cuts would decimate North Sac recreation

Originally posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Budget hearings for the City of Sacramento kick off tomorrow evening and the first to present their proposed budget is the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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To help address the City’s $39 million funding gap, the proposal trims Parks & Rec by $1,786,800 in the city’s General Fund, along with the loss of 22 full time employees (FTE). This is coupled with the loss of $742,889 in one time funds for recreation services (along with 26.82 FTE) and $1,889,827 in additional reductions (along with 25.95 FTE).

The grand total of proposed reductions to Parks and Recreation is $4,419,516 and 75.17 FTE. The impacts would be seen on many levels:

  • While six pools would operate this summer, only three – Pannell Meadowview, Clunie, and Doyle Pool – would operate in Summer 2012. Wading pools will be open this summer, but be closed next summer.
  • The department would “focus remaining on three geographically spread centers that are the most active – Pannell Meadowview, Coloma, and South Natomas”. The Hart Senior Center would be reduced to a half time schedule; however, all other community centers would close and lock down unless leased to the nonprofit sector.
  • Neighborhood Services would eliminate two full time employees; thus, reducing services to the City Council, City Departments, and community organizations on a variety of projects, events, initiatives and collaborations.
  • Teen Services would close programs at Valley High, Grant High, and Natomas Pacific Charter Middle School, and would serve 300 fewer teens.

These proposals would decimate recreation in North Sacramento.

Community Centers in North Sacramento have already been closed down from the four they once had – Woodlake, Johnston, and Robertson Community Centers are already closed – to the remaining Hagginwood Community Center. This proposes to close Hagginwood while leaving South Natomas open because volume of activity and geographical location. South Natomas is a gorgeous and active center, but it is a good four to five miles from Hagginwood. It’s easily accessible by car, but not everyone drives. 

This year, Johnston Pool will be the only pool operating in North Sacramento; not so next year. Fortunately, it is projected Doyle Pool will be open in 2012; however, it will be a trek for North Sacramentans (even those living in North Natomas) to get to it as it will be the only one open in the north area.

Already understaffed, Neighborhood Services would struggle with providing outreach to the communities and neighborhoods of North Sacramento. And, as stated in the budget document, Teen Services would close their program at Grant High School.

Fortunately, all of this is preliminary and nothing is set in stone, and you still have time to give you input. The Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed the budget on May 5, 2011 and their comments and recommendations will be shared with the council.

You can contact Jonathan Rewers, Parks and Recreation Commission Chair and Commissioner for District 2, at

You can also contact Councilmember Sandy Sheedy (District 2) at or by phone at 808-7002.

Parks and Recreation will present their proposed budget at City Council tomorrow evening at 6pm at New City Hall.

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