Tony Avella on Parks

Tony Avella for City Council

Tony Avella

Part 1 – Yes/No Questions

1. Maintenance

a. Will you work toward committing at least 1% of the overall city budget to the Parks Department’s expense budget over the course of your term? YES
     > If so, would you dedicate revenue earned through park concessions to parks maintenance and operations, without simultaneous decreases in baseline funding? YES
b. Will you establish objective, publicly accessible maintenance standards for all park properties in all five boroughs? YES
c. Will you provide in your Mayor’s Management Report park ratings by borough and community board in addition to the citywide level? YES
     > Will you make the official Parks Department “property list” that specifically delineates all 1,700 properties available online? YES
     > Will you make publicly available details of the private funding that helps to maintain and operate many of our public parks? YES

2. Capital

  • Will you require that every capital parks project be accompanied by a plan for ongoing maintenance and/or funding? YES

3. Crime

a. Will you support legislation that requires regular NYPD reports to the City Council on crime in parks (ie. Intro. 470)? YES. I am a prime sponsor of the bill.
b. Will you work toward making parkland part of the city’s CompStat system? YES

4. Alienation

  • Will you support more laws that require public notification and input when a park will be used for non-park purposes, to afford parks the protection they need from development or use by other agencies? YES

5. Open Space/Natural Areas

  • Will you work toward creating, with significant community involvement, a comprehensive open space plan that will guide the overall acquisition, restoration, improvement, and maintenance of parks, natural areas, playgrounds and athletic facilities in the five boroughs? YES

Part 2 – Open Questions

1. Maintenance

a. What specific actions would you take to ensure that every park in every neighborhood has green ball fields, working water fountains and open bathrooms?
How would you fund your actions?

b. What would be your plan to move from roaming crews to fixed crews for parks maintenance?

c. What funding / programs would you use to increase the full-time parks maintenance staff?

"During each and every budget negotiation that I have been involved in since my election, I have advocated for additional funding for park maintenance. I make it a priority to walk in every park in my district to view firsthand the conditions of each."

2. Recreation & Youth Programming

· What specific actions would you take to revitalize the recreational and amateur sports programs that have been decimated by years of budget cuts?

· What specific actions would you take to enable a much higher level of collaboration among the Parks Dept., Dept. of Youth & Community Development and the Dept. of Education?
"Almost all of my discretionary funds are allocated to either senior programs or youth activities. As the past President of a local volunteer sports program, I am committed to ensuring that these programs are available and that each and every child has a field to play on."

3. Olympics

· If NYC is awarded the Olympics in 2012 or 2016, what specific actions would you take to ensure that parks that are changed, altered or improved as Olympic venues are properly funded and maintained after the Olympics are finished?
"I will work closely with the Administration and the NYC 2012 Committee to ensure that the Olympics facilities are used for the public after the Olympic event."

4. Community Gardens

· What specific actions would you take to reduce the cost of the annual insurance premiums that community gardeners must pay?
"I would be happy to meet with representatives of the Community Gardeners to determine the best course of action to reduce their insurance payments."

5. Stadiums & Amateur Sports

· What specific actions would you take to require that professional sports organizations assist in maintaining and operating public parks near their facilities?

· How would you provide more multi-purpose facilities for amateur sports and recreation?
"I am already working to address both of these issues."

6. Waterfront Parks

· How would you improve upon recent investment in the NYC waterfront?

· What are your plans to ensure that citizens in all five boroughs have access to waterfront parks?

· How would you fund the especially costly maintenance of waterfront parks?
"As Chair of Zoning and Franchises for the City Council, I have always worked to ensure that any new development along the waterfront allows for community access. In some cases, this has resulted in the City acquiring new waterfront parkland."

7. National Parks

· What steps would you take to promote the use of and access to our city’s national parks (ie. Gateway National Recreation Area, National Parks of NY Harbor)?

· What is your vision for Governors Island?