Minneapolis voters will be asked next week whether the city should disband its police department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety. Supporters say the move will improve emergency response in the city by incorporating social workers and other mental health professionals, while opponents warn eliminating the police force will threaten public safety.
Parks and recreation officials in Mansfield, Ohio, will seek approval from the City Council to include a four-year, 0.25% income tax increase on the ballot in May. If approved, the money will be used to help fund the construction of an $8 million aquatic center.
Officials in Vancouver, British Columbia, have issued a sustainability bond aimed at funding environmentally friendly infrastructure projects, making Vancouver the first city in Canada to do so. Proceeds will help cover the cost of updating sanitary and water systems, expanding a local park, improving pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and improving civic facilities' accessibility.
The North Providence, R.I., Recreation Department is resuming its Pumpkins in the Park celebration on Saturday after canceling it last year due to the pandemic. Multiple holiday events are planned for this weekend in York County, S.C., while the Iowa City, Iowa, Parks and Recreation Department is teaming up with departments at the University of Iowa to hold a Halloween carnival.
This week is Bat Week, and environmental agencies in Massachusetts, Michigan and New York are sharing facts about bats and dispelling myths. "If explorers do venture out and come across hibernating bats in a cave, I urge these visitors to leave quickly and quietly," says Basil Seggos, commissioner of the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Durham Parks and Recreation in North Carolina is building 14 dedicated pickleball courts at Piney Wood Park to accommodate growing interest in the sport. The department's pickleball lessons, tournaments and clinics are selling out, says recreation manager Tammy Brown.
Denver's City Park is now home to an updated playground, replacing wooden structures that gave children splinters. The new playground also has a wheelchair-accessible swing.
The Alameda, Calif., City Council has approved an updated policy that takes inclusion and diversity into account when determining names for parks, facilities and streets. The policy also requires public input on naming decisions.
Recreation and park departments can improve their standing with local officials by positioning themselves as allies in pursuing government goals and addressing issues such as public health and economic development, says John Crompton, a Texas city council official and professor at Texas A&M University. On the finance side, parks and rec departments need to clearly account for costs and pursue independent funding streams, Crompton says.
Glynn County, Ga., has a tax on short-term rental properties, and officials in the county seat of Brunswick are considering implementing a similar tax on properties within city limits. Properties in Brunswick would be required to register with the city if the ordinance passes.
- Page 1