Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood


February 6, 2008




Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Chair

Parks and Seattle Center Committee and

Members of the Committee

P.O. Box 34025

Seattle, Washington  98124-4025


RE:      Change in Parks Mission Statement


Dear Councilmembers Rasmussen, Conlin, Drago and Burgess,


            The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees has recently learned that the Parks and Recreation Department has changed its mission statement with no public involvement.  We learned that the mission statement was changed in consultation with the Parks Department consultant for the Strategic Action Plan.  While the Strategic Action Plan may prove to be a valuable endeavor, it is no substitute for the extensive process of updating the Parks Comprehensive Plan.


            Years ago when Parks and Recreation was updating its 1993 Comprehensive Plan, the Laurelhurst Community Club commented extensively on a number of items, including Parks desire to change its mission statement to include tourism.  Many other community groups and citizens were also involved in that process.  After the hundreds and hundreds of hours that went into updating the Parks Comp Plan, both from Parks staff, the Board of Park Commission and citizens, the Plan cannot even be found on the Parks website.  We do not understand why development of the Strategic Action Plan can’t be grounded on the important effort that went into the Parks Comp Plan.  Will all of the goals and policies of that important document that took such a long time to develop now be lost?


            The former mission statement said, “Seattle Parks and Recreation will work with all citizens to be good stewards of our environment, and to provide safe and welcoming opportunities to play, learn, contemplate and build community.”  The new consultant’s mission statement is “Creating Community Through People, Parks and Programs.”  The Department indicates that the new mission statement and a series of values such as “kinship, engagement, health and fitness, environment, customer service, playfulness, equity/diversity and families and individuals” will go out to the public for review in late April when the Strategic Action Plan is released.  In the meantime, they are using the consultant’s new mission statement. 


            We urge you to work with the Parks and Recreation Department to ensure citizen involvement before changes are made to the Parks mission statement.  Further, we ask that any changes to the mission statement be proposed through amendments to the Parks Comp Plan.




Jeannie Hale, President                                                            Emily Dexter, LCC Trustee

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE                                 5151 47th Avenue NE

Seattle, Washington  98105                                         Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631                              206-524-1594