Community Center hours in danger of being cut again

Posted on November 6th, 2012 by Sara

Magnolia Community Center is in danger being closed.? Not forever, just most of the time.

For 2012,?the Seattle City Council approved a reduction in operating hours for Magnolia; from 60 hours to 25 hours. Because of the high volume of activities in 2012, Magnolia was given 10 additional operating hours.?but in 2013, the council is proposing to reduce these hours back to 25 hours.?Melissa Valenzuela, MCC Recreation Coordinator?writes:
?Magnolia is one of the busiest centers in the Seattle area. During a recent view of our 2012 data, Magnolia had one of the highest numbers in program attendance and foot traffic among sites with limited hours. The center serves as a hub for this community and many neighbors use it as their sole resource for recreation and services.?We are currently operating on limited hours and staff. I’m proud to say that we have still provided the same level of customer service for our patrons. However, we have also experienced some losses in areas due to minimal resources and staff availability. A reduction to 25 hours would result in even more decreased services. My hope is to retain our current hours, restore services and provide even more quality experiences for our patrons.?If you are concerned about the proposed changes, please take the time to write your council members at the emails listed below. As always, we appreciate your support of the Magnolia Community Center.
Magnolia parent?Suzanne writes:
Here’s a little more background on the “why” of the cuts: apparently our village doesn’t have enough crime.? Thus, if the City Council’s focus is on Community Centers as a prevention to teen crime, we may want to discuss in our emails to the council members (1) the importance of MCC to other age groups, including toddlers (drop-in playtime) and senior citizens (pottery, aerobics classes); and/or (2) the effectiveness of the existing Teen program and drop-in sports at MCC: perhaps we don’t have much teen crime here because MCC’s programs are working.? Why cut what works?
In response to the proposed cuts, Mayor McGinn sent this email??last week:


Subject: Magnolia Community Center Hours

Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 18:07:55

Mike McGinn, Mayor City of Seattle
As you may know, in 2012 we were able to fund 35 hours per week at the Magnolia Community Center. My proposed 2013-2014 budget preserves this service level. Unfortunately, the City Council is considering cutting those hours, reducing the total open hours at the Magnolia Community Center from 35 per week to 25.
As our economy and budget situation improve, I was pleased to be able to propose continued funding for 35 open hours per week for the Magnolia Community Center. It appears, however, that Council may have other priorities for that money. Without your input, these potential cuts to your community centers will go unchallenged.? Please take a moment to contact the City Council and ask them to support continued community center hours. Their contact information is below:
Budget Chair Tim Burgess: email or call (206) 684-8806. Council President Sally Clark: email or call (206) 684-8802. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw: email or call (206) 684-8801. Councilmember Richard Conlin: email or call (206) 684-8805. Councilmember Jean Godden: email or call (206) 684-8807. Councilmember Bruce Harrell: email or call (206) 684-8804. Councilmember Nick Licata: email or call (206) 684-8803. Councilmember Mike O?Brien: email or call (206) 684-8800. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen: email or call (206) 684-8808.

Mike McGinn Mayor of Seattle

Fans of Magnolia’s Community Center are asking for you to email your?input to the City Council ASAP to help keep the Community Center from losing operating hours.? As of press time, only a few emails have been sent.

5 responses to “Community Center hours in danger of being cut again”

  1. Abzolut says:

    Sent! I actually lobbied for more hours, because wouldn’t it be nice to have programming for preschoolers before 3pm so they can have their time before the older kids get out of school? And a place for seniors to gather during the day? Or how about just the bathrooms open for when you’re at the park and someone has to go *right now*?

  2. jillygirl says:

    I did too and actually got a few responses but not holding my breath…

  3. Womyn2me says:

    so, I just looked at the facebook page for the center and it seems to be pretty much kid centered. I googled activities at magnolia and the only thing that came up were for kids. 25 hours a week for kids is plenty.

    • Suzanne says:

      They have lots of programs for seniors and adults, too. They do have great programs for children, which are well attended and include things for babies, kids, and teens. 25 hours may be enough, but having more time would certainly be better for our community.

    • Abzolut says:

      But they don’t open until 3. I could be doing activities with my preschooler there during the day. At 3, I have to pick the big kids up from school and then we’re off to soccer, dance, etc., with them. Tremendous lost opportunities. (And 25 hours per week would be 3pm-8pm daily, with no weekend hours. I don’t call that “plenty” for a *community* center.)

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