Sunday, December 11, 2022

Regarding a Parks Department

The Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) has been advocating for the creation of a Parks Department for almost a year now. To the CAC's disappointment, no money was allocated for a Parks Department in the 2023 budget. 

Among the communications to be received by the Common Council at tomorrow's informal meeting is a memo from Hilary Hillman, written on behalf of the CAC, urging the Council to consider creating a Parks Director position and hiring someone to fill that position, as well as identifying one dedicated Parks worker. What would be needed for a nascent Parks Department is outlined in this way:
  • $60,000--Director of Parks starting salary
  • $41,000--Salary for a dedicated Parks worker
  • $40,000--Budget for the first year
  • Use of a truck and a collegial sharing of equipment and work requests/coordination with DPW
The memo makes the following recommendation: "We feel that a Director of Parks should working [sic] with, but not for, the Department of Public Works. That the Director of Parks should answer to the DPW Commissioner (if not a Parks Commissioner), the Mayor, and the Common Council." The memo goes on to say, "Caring for green infrastructure is not the DPW's strong suit, nor should it be."

The memo may be a topic of discussion at tomorrow's Council meeting, or it may simply be received as a communication. The entire memo can be read here.


  1. "Pocket Park improvement grant application in progress." Who is handling that, CAC? Pocket park improvement can't happen fast enough. It's embarrassing how bad the walking surfaces are in the pocket parks. Insulting. And unwise (tripping hazards on city property equals law suits). BHuston

  2. This city keeps proposing ways of spending money it doesn't have and there's only one source to get that money, tax payers. How exactly did we survive not having a Parks Department for so long ... just fine that's how!

  3. No, we didn't survive 'just fine.' The condition of our parks is an embarrassment. Bravo to those who are stepping up and doing something about it. And I'm happy to pay my share of taxes to support the effort.

    1. Totally agree. A Park's department is a good idea. Improvement in parks and greenery is an important part of improving Hudson.

  4. City Hall can try to create a Parks Department, but there is a much bigger issue, a structural issue, that needs attention first. The house needs rebuilding.
    There is absolutely no way that 520 Warren Street will ever solve the sidewalk safety problem with the current people in play. At some point, a position or a department needs to be created to handle this huge and long-term project. This is what Ithaca did, and it is working.
    All parking and meter related issues and personnel need to be under one roof, one department, THE PARKING DEPARTMENT, and the City Clerk's Office should have NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!
    The Code Enforcement Office is failing us in so many ways. Create a Building Department and a Code Enforcement Department. Make the supervisors show up to council meetings with a monthly report, just like every other department.
    Like most cities big and small do, the DPW and Water Department should be separate and not run by the same person. We should have a Streets and Parks Department, as well as a Water Department. Our aged water infrastructure and its issues are much, much too large for Rob Perry to handle, given everything else he is supposed to be handling at DPW (ergo, the conflicting parking signs. DPW installed at 3rd and Warren recently, and the failed repaving project on S. 3rd which is ongoing and EXPENSIVE!).
    Lastly, perhaps, no more Mayor's office. Hire a professional to run the city, a real manager to deal with all the changes coming our way. A manager who will be able to handle a long-overdue effective restructuring of city hall.
    For now, though, Kamal should be asking himself "Do I use funds to create a Parks Department or to create a department or position for the sidewalk mess that isn't going anywhere on its own? Can we handle both?" Someone should be trying to answer those questions. If the Mayor is making $70,000 a year salary, it should be him.

    Bill Huston