Friday, January 08, 2010

Open Letter


January 7, 2010

Susan Peters & Don Nottoli, Sacramento Board of Supervisors
Kevin Johnson, Mayor, Sacramento
Steve Cohn & Ray Tretheway, Sacramento City Council
Linda Budge & Robert McGarvey, Rancho Cordova City Council
Andy Morin & Ken Howell, Folsom City Council
Janet Baker, Director, Sacramento County Regional Parks
Jim Combs, Director, Sacramento City Parks & Recreation
Joe Chinn, Assistant City Manger, Folsom
Robert Goss, Director, Folsom Parks & Recreation

Dear Committee Members:

As you continue your work to ensure the American River Parkway is sustained and enhanced for the future of all the communities that treasure and use it, we would like to offer you our suggestions concerning the Parkway Joint Powers Authority (JPA) your committee is tasked with considering, as it relates to Parkway management and funding.

We support the JPA idea your committee is working on, though not the tax increase currently coupled with it, and would ask you to consider the concept of creating a nonprofit organization to provide daily management and supplemental funding through dedicated philanthropy.

We support the JPA board composition—two (2) members from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, two (2) members from the Sacramento City Council, one (1) member from the Rancho Cordova City Council, and one (1) member from the Folsom City Council.

We support the formation of a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), but would ask you to consider including a member of the CAC, chosen by the CAC, to sit on the JPA board.

We believe that the ability of dedicated management and raising supplemental funds philanthropically, which the managing nonprofit could do, is a much more effective way to develop the level of funding that is needed.

As an example, the Central Park Conservancy—the nonprofit that manages Central Park in New York City—raises 85% of the funding needed by Central Park, and I am sure we would all agree that the American River Parkway is as valued a resource to us as Central Park is to them.

The type of public safety, access, and vandalism problems adjacent neighborhoods have to deal with—illegal camping in the Lower Reach, late night carousing at Paradise Beach, Parkway users parking in neighborhoods impacting residents, and business encroachment issues—could all be much more effectively responded to through a nonprofit organization able to respond directly to these local issues.

The history of nonprofit organizations working to benefit the Parkway is a very positive one and this type of expansion would be congruent with that history.

With your leadership, and the deep love our many communities have for the Parkway, the development of a proactive and productive funding and management policy for the future can be assured.


Governing Board,
Michael Rushford, President
Kristine Lea, Vice President
David H. Lukenbill, CFO, Senior Policy Director
Rebecca Garrison, Director