[Adopted 5-4-2015 by L.L. No. 4-2015]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Part 30, Parks and Recreation Planning Commission, adopted 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 42.81.14. Section 2 of L.L. No. 4-2015 states that "notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law or the Albany City Charter to the contrary, any actions taken by the Parks and Recreation Planning Commission, as established by Ordinance No. 42.81.14 adopted on or about December 15, 2014, on or before the effective date of this local law are hereby confirmed and ratified and shall be deemed valid actions. Such Parks and Recreation Planning Commission shall cease to exist upon the taking effect into law of this local law, provided that any members shall continue to hold office under the provisions of this local law under the same terms and conditions of their previous appointments."
The Common Council recognizes and finds that the development of a long-term plan for the utilization of Albany's park and recreational facilities is a valuable tool for using limited tax dollars to their best advantage and for identifying and leveraging additional funds from other sources. The purpose of the Commission created hereby is to seek the involvement and input of the general public, as well as the many recreational service providers and interested organizations in and around the City of Albany.
The Common Council hereby establishes the Parks and Recreation Planning Commission. The Commission shall serve as an advisory body in developing a comprehensive five-year plan for the City's parks and recreation programs. The Commission will expire 12 months from the date of its creation or when the final report is completed and submitted to the Common Council and the Mayor.
The Parks and Recreation Planning Commission shall be composed of seven voting members: three appointed by the Mayor, and four appointed by the Common Council. The members shall be residents of the City of Albany who possess an interest in Albany's parks and/or recreation services and have a time commitment to serve. The members shall be broadly representative of the City's residents, including the population's characteristics and geographic distribution, and shall serve without compensation. Organizations with an interest in City recreational planning, including neighborhood associations, school groups, social welfare agencies and senior citizen organizations, shall be encouraged to submit nominees for appointment. Individuals also will be encouraged to submit names for consideration.
The members shall be appointed for the duration of the Commission's existence. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
The Common Council will designate one of the voting members as Chairperson.
There shall also be six ex officio members of the Commission who shall be the City Commissioner of Recreation or designee, the Commissioner of General Services or designee, the Director of Planning or designee, the Superintendent of the City School District of Albany or designee and two members of the Common Council to be appointed by the Common Council President. Ex officio members shall serve without vote and provide the citizen members with information and advice as to the City's present and anticipated capabilities, resources and priorities concerning parks management, programs and strategies.
The Commission shall provide an opportunity and forum for public involvement and perspective in developing short- and long-term recommendations for park improvements and recreational activities. The Commission shall have the authority to form committees and to hold public hearings.
The short-term goals of the Commission shall include:
Completing an inventory and evaluation of park and playground facilities and recreational services available to City residents, including those owned or funded by the City, reviewing and evaluating park maintenance and forestry standards and practices;
An analysis of the use of existing parks by residents and the parks and recreational programs within each ward;
Reviewing and evaluating the annual operating budget and capital improvement budget.
A written report of the Commission's findings in these regards shall be submitted to the Mayor and Common Council within seven months of the Commission's creation.
Upon completing the evaluations, the Commission shall develop a comprehensive, long-term plan for the City parks and recreational services to be submitted to the Common Council for approval. The plan shall include:
Findings from the outreach efforts conducted by the Commission;
Recommendations for maintenance and forestry standards;
Establishing goals for use of parkland in the City of Albany;
Recommendations for establishing a permanent Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Commission;
A phased implementation list for park and recreational improvements that will be prioritized based on project feasibility.
Suggestions for improvements to existing parks and programs and the cost associated with such improvements along with suggestions on reducing expenses;
Any other item related to parks and recreation development, planning or programming which may be referred to the Commission by the City Council or the Mayor or any park policy matter of concern to a Commission member or the community.