Presently, volunteers on the city's 52 recreation councils control money generated by programs and special classes at their individual sites. However, in a recent opinion, City Attorney Mara Elliott determined that practice violates city rules. Noting special-use permits for every recreation council expire at the end of the year, Elliott said her office won’t sign-off on new ones, or extensions, putting the continuation of programming at the facilities in doubt starting Jan. 1.
The city's Parks and Recreation Department proposed bringing rec council purse strings under control of municipal government, while allowing the recreation councils to continue in their advisory roles.
On Dec. 5, Councilperson Scott Sherman said he felt allowing unelected citizens on rec councils to participate in the city's budgetary process "violates the city's charter."
After 1 1/2 hours of public testimony, most of it opposed to changing the status quo, the City Council voted unanimously to remand the issue to the city's Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee for further analysis. The Council hinted the matter might come back to them again for action before their holiday recess.