Marin Parks' attempt to scuttle the independent review of Measure A expenditures was a trial balloon that the public caught and rejected. This is one more in a list of inefficiencies brought by our county's "Managing For Results," "Employer of Choice," "Performance Management" and other paid-consultant projects at huge public expense.
Rather than spending Measure A on optional projects as planned, it should be invested in our trust funds with the interest spent sustainably, as needed for essential projects. Not growth for growth's sake.
Regular budgeting for parks and open space should be maintained in addition to Measure A, and should not be offset with Measure A funds or used for non-parks and open space programs. We were not broke going into the campaign. In a deep recession we funded natural resource protection and capital improvement projects, paid and benefited a 59 member top-heavy staff, and undertook website and department identity updates at considerable cost. We are spending $1 million for the recession-optional 680 Trail.
And, nowhere in our new Marin Parks Department identity upgrade is our world famous Marin County Open Space District mentioned—something we created in 1972 specifically for open space protection. And, what's up with celebrating "Marin Parks" 40th anniversary with the Measure A campaign? It is rather our Open Space District's 40th anniversary. Not the parks department, which is actually 60-some-years or older going to the 1930s. Whose idea was this? Why wasn't it workshopped with the public before such a major change was undertaken cavalierly by new management? Did we vote to have our open space preserves parkified or bike-ified, or hidden away beneath "Marin Parks"?
Our focus should be on creating green and sustainable county budgets, pensions, salaries, programs and expenditures. Not spending the public's very generous treasure just because we have it and can do so.
Rand Knox, San Rafael