Why is the park service expected to provide 60% of its budget? I believe this is a quality of life question for this county and view parks to be as important as libraries to citizens' quality of life. In this era of unemployment and low wages and obesity I believe it is important to provide citizens with appropriate outlets which parks can go a long way toward ensuring. However, fees can hinder those most in need of what parks can provide and keep them away.
Please re-examine this expectation,
I agree that Parks are an important element of our overall quality of life. We use multiple funding sources to maximize the availability of Park activities as we balance resources across all county programs and services. For example, the General Fund supports some camps, trips and tours, lakefront park operations and resource management sites and programs. The General Fund also pays for the policy, communication and leadership activities of the Director’s Office, the requirements of the Public Information Office, and funds administrative costs for purchasing, accounting, budgeting, and payroll and risk management procedural compliance. On the other hand user fees and charges generated at the Authority’s revenue supported facilities and is supplemented by donations and grants. Revenue generating facilities include recreation centers, golf courses, lake parks, nature centers, historic sites and various other major parks. As a result we have a Park Authority which oversees operation and management of a County park system with approximately 23,000 acres, 418 parks, nine recreation centers, eight golf courses, an ice skating rink, 220 playgrounds, 668 public gardens, five nature centers, an equestrian center, 505 Fairfax County Public School owned athletic fields, 274 Park Authority owned athletic fields, 10 historic sites, two waterparks, a horticultural center, and more than 300 miles of trails. The Authority has balanced the dual roles of providing recreational and fitness opportunities to citizens and serving as stewards and interpreters of Fairfax County’s natural and cultural resources.