RETAIN DON'S LINE WORKERS: THE DISTRICTD COORDINATORS.
They are the connection between neighborhood folks (who vote) and the complexities of City government and lawmaking!
The Queen Anne/Magnolia Neighborhood Service Center has 25 community meetings each month and has 12 groups who regularly use the facility.
From January 1 - Sept. 30th the District Coordinator facilitated 9 meetings or tours which brought elected officials into the neighborhood to engage with community groups to better understand first hand issues of concern like Two Way Mercer and Kinnear Park plans.
During an average month, the QA/Magnolia Neighborhood District Coordinator attends approximately 20 meetings in the community. She stays engaged with all the community groups in the district, helps problem solve and strategize when issues arise, connecting the community to City government staff and resources to accomplish their goals and make Seattle a vibrant community.
The Mayor's proposal to close 7 of the 13 Neighborhood Service Centers and eliminate half of the District Coordinators will reduce opportunities for people to engage with their community, reduce opportunities for citizens to help shape city policies and reduce citizen access to community building resources - i.e. grants/leadership training/meeting locations at NSC's.
(3) The Neighborhood District Coordinators and their Neighborhood Service Centers are a valuable asset to the citizens, businesses and organizations of Seattle - especially now. During tough economic times government relies more heavily on the efforts of community volunteers. Liaisons in the community are more important now than ever. They have been dedicated to the ideals of promoting civic participation and providing opportunities to empower communities for over 30 years. The current recession and resulting budget crisis is the worst in recent history that places even more emphasis on their critical roles.
Families, businesses and organizations have all had to reduce spending in these tough times - and the City of Seattle should be no different. We urge the City Council to work with the Dept of Neighborhoods' Executive staff in helping identify true cost saving measures that don't dismantle DON's own mission statement and help retain the City and community's Neighborhood District Coordinator program.
Ideas for alternative solutions:
Consolidation of Neighborhood Service Center's or relocate with other City facilities
Preserve positions over facilities
Examine other staff and programs in DON to potentially cut. 10 line staff are being proposed while no management positions are proposed to be cut.