Rosie Mendez on Parks

Rosie Mendez for City Council

Rosie Mendez



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

2. Capital

  • Will you require that every capital parks project be accompanied by a plan for ongoing maintenance and/or funding? Yes, I will call upon the Mayor to require every capital parks project be accompanied by a plan for ongoing maintenance and/or funding.

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 will support legislation that requires the NYPD to report to the City Council on crime in parks.
b. Will you work toward making parkland part of the city’s CompStat system? Yes, I will work toward making parkland part of the city’s CompStat system.

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, I am very concerned that there be adequate public notification and input when a park will be used for non-park purposes.

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, I will work toward creating, with significant community involvement, a comprehensive open space plan to guide the overall acquisition, restoration, improvement and maintenance of parks, natural areas, playgrounds and athletic facilities.

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?
"In order to ascertain the status of every park in my district I would undertake a survey of the parks to determine the number of green ball fields (and how well maintained and utilized they are), if water fountains are working, and if bathrooms are well maintained and open. Once this survey is completed, I would work with the Parks Department to ascertain what their plan is."
How would you fund your actions?

"If the Parks Department was unable to maintain the parks in my district properly due to funding, I would work to provide a portion of the councilmanic funds for park development as well as advocate for more park funding."
b. What would be your plan to move from roaming crews to fixed crews for parks maintenance?

"I believe that it is important to have a fixed crew assigned to a park since they will then best know the utilization of the park and what times to clean the park and what areas need the most attention. The roaming crews are not able to know a park and its specific utilization and community needs as well as a fixed crew."
c. What funding / programs would you use to increase the full-time parks maintenance staff?

"I would work to increase the line item in the City’s budget for such use."

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?

"As a former track and field competitor, I know the importance of athletic and recreational facilities. I would work closely with community leaders I already know who run little leagues and other sports teams to better understand what their needs are. I would work to obtain more community involvement in the activities while advocating for more funding for these programs."
· 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?
"As a Council Member, I would work closely with the Parks, DYCD, DOE, and community sponsored recreational programs to set up a support system for youth activities in the park. The Parks Dept. could allocate space for DYCD and DOE – funded activities."

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 would work to ensure that parks would continue the funding streams they received if NYC is indeed chosen as a 2016 venue for the Olympics. Additionally, I would work to ensure that a portion of the revenues from the 2016 Olympics would be dedicated to parks preservation and maintenance."

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 work to obtain group coverage for community gardeners to reduce annual insurance premiums, perhaps working through the Trust for Public Land."

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?
"I would support or sponsor legislation requiring professional sports organizations to maintain and operate public parks near their facilities."

· How would you provide more multi-purpose facilities for amateur sports and recreation?
"I would work with the Community Board on the East River Waterfront Plan to identify ways to create free, accessible multi-purpose recreational facilities for community residents."

6. Waterfront Parks

· How would you improve upon recent investment in the NYC waterfront?
"I would support putting additional monies into ferry taxi services perhaps from Williamsburg to the Lower East Side. I had helped set up a temporary ferry service in the late 1980’s when the Williamsburg Bridge had to close for repairs."

· What are your plans to ensure that citizens in all five boroughs have access to waterfront parks?
"I will work closely with Community Board 3 regarding the development of the East River Waterfront based on the recent study paid for by Lower Manhattan Development Corporation."

· How would you fund the especially costly maintenance of waterfront parks?
"If we developed more waterfront taxis we could use the licensing of these taxis to be dedicated to waterfront development. Additionally, New York City needs to dedicate money in its budget for infrastructure and maintenance of waterfront parks."

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)?
"I would work with the Mayor’s office to publicize the National Parks of the City in tourism literature as well as in the schools’ curriculums—thereby encouraging school trips to these sites. I would support the Mayor in setting up a ferry from Battery Park to Gateway National Recreation Area and to Governors Island and in dedicating the funding raised to the maintenance of these parks."
· What is your vision for Governors Island?
"I believe Governors Island should be subject to state and local controls. I believe Governors Island should be utilized in such a way that provides the most public benefit. Ideas such as placing the New York Harbor High School as part of the CUNY campus on Governors Island may help to alleviate the overcrowding in public schools and site a school that is perfectly located for students to study the bays and tidal estuaries surrounding the island. I also see the opportunity for Governors Island to provide public space and access to the waterfront for many New Yorkers. In addition, New Yorkers should have access to regularly scheduled tours on Governors Island."