Denver Direct: A Public Statement to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Public Statement to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

by Dave Felice, March 8, 2012

I am re-stating my staunch opposition to admission based events in ­public parks.

Your chairperson has stated that the Advisory Board accepts the policy as written and that there would be no further discussion about policy. This is erroneous. In fact, this is precisely the forum, the time, and the body to re-examine this policy.

There is a new administration, new council members, and new members of the Parks Advisory Board. It only takes one of you to have the courage to admit that the admission based events policy is fundamentally unacceptable and should be rescinded.

You all know the policy is wrong, but are willing to accept it because it holds an as yet unfulfilled promise of lucrative revenue. I say again, the parks are not for sale. The tax-payers own the public parks and the parks must be free and open to the public at all times.

Furthermore, City Charter prohibits the lease of public parks. You and other government officials have conveniently chosen to either ignore this fact or be deceived by faulty opinions from the City Attorney and Manager of Parks.

Commercial enterprises have absolutely no prerogative to usurp public property for profit. It is egregiously wrong to close park property and exclude those who do not, or cannot, pay admission.

Parks are public property, not sources of imagined revenue. If you want to generate revenue, find a way to build a dedicated full-time event facility. Perhaps the Greenway Foundation could include a festival park as part of proposals for the River North area.

I call upon you, members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, to tell the city administration this odious policy needs to be rescinded.