Friends of Marymoor Park

September 27th, 2000 Meeting Summary

-- see also the August meeting summary

Disclaimer - I am writing this summary almost a month after the meeting, and I took inadequate notes, so this summary is probably deficient.  My apologies.

Budget Discussion
Cricket at Marymoor
Velodrome Nationals

Budget Discussion

The main business of the September meeting was a discussion of the King County Parks budget.  Dennis Dynes and John Allen who played key roles in developing the proposed budget kindly paid us a visit to fill us in on the details of both the budget and the process.  Dennis, I believe, led the development of the proposed budget overall, while John was responsible for the maintenance and operations portion.

Here is what I remember about the procedural issues surrounding the King County budget:

The process starts months in advance (May - July) with on-site managers meeting with the budget team members to prioritize needs.  For instance, Karl Kostel, who heads Marymoor maintenance, meets with John Allen.  Working with this ground-level input and using the previous year's budget as a baseline, a new budget proposal is produced.

In mid-July, this budget is presented to the King County Executive (currently Ron Sims).  Working with the Executive office, this budget is refined  in July-September.  This budget eventually is finalized, and is then presented as the Executive Budget Proposal to the King County Council, usually around the 1st week of October (October 9 this year).

.The King County Council then reviews the budget during October and November, with adoption of the Annual King County Budget around Thanksgiving week.

Note that the Parks budget is just a piece of this overall budget.

The 2001 Park System Budget Proposal

The 2000 Park System Adopted Budget Amount was about $23 Million.  This made the base amount for the 2001 Budget about $24 Million.  That is the funding level that would be equivalent to the 2000 budget - the increases are due to things like inflation, increases in benefits, etc.

The 2001 proposed amount is almost $26 million.  New expenditures in the 2001 budget include:

  • Staffing for Integrated Pest Management - ~$265,000.  IPM is a program to reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides by using alternative controls (biological and manual).

  • Mow crew staffing - $300,000.  This adds 6 positions, restoring staffing levels previously cut.

  • Staff & equipment to open ballfields for play in 2001 - ~$150,000.  This is money to actually operate the sports fields currently being constructed at Marymoor.

Capital Budget vs. Operating Budget

That last item, the operations budget for the new fields, began a discussion of Capital Budget vs. Operating Budget.  These two categories are entirely separate, with entirely separate budgeting processes and revenue streams.  Sometimes they are not very well coordinated, as in this case.  Initially there was no money in the 2001 proposal for operating the fields that were being built.  Thankfully, in the final Executive proposal, this has been changed.  However, the County Council must still OK the funding.

This illustrates a situation that occurs continually.  Parks acquisition and development are paid for out of the Capital budget - the money comes from parks levies passed by the voters.  Conversely, maintenance and operations are funded out of the general fund.  The general fund is tightly squeezed, resulting in maintenance and operations funding far below what it needs to be to properly run the existing parks.  Yet there is money available in the Capital budget, so new parks are acquired, and existing parks are developed.  There is not necessarily money to open the parks or maintain the newly developed portions of old parks!

King County Park System Expenditures

Operations - 83%
        Maintenance    46%
        Aquatics          25%
        Recreation         9%
        County Fair       3%
Administration -  13%
        PDLM              10%
        Admin/Outreach  3%
Utilities/Insurance - 4%

I believe PDLM is Parks Development and Land Management, and they decide what to do with the capital funding.

How FOMP can influence the Parks budget

First of all, Marymoor is only a small piece of the total Parks System, which comprises 22,000 acres and 119 parks, and the Parks System Operating Budget is only a small piece of the total $500M Annual King County Budget.  So we are never going to get the undivided attention and the tons of money we might want.  That said, FOMP can influence the budgeting process at several points.

First is that FOMP could work with the on-site managers to mould their prioritization of funding needs.  This would mean working with Karl Kostel on maintenance and operations, and with Norah Gaynor on recreation.

Secondly, we could make proposals directly to Dennis and John for specific funding issues.

Third, we can voice support for, or request changes to, the budget to the King County Council, once they have received the proposal.

Other Business

Cricket at Marymoor

Representatives from the Marymoor Cricket Alliance made a presentation on cricket, cricket in the northwest, and on what they'd like to do with their field.  They would like to make their field more suitable to good cricket play.  This involves leveling, smoothing, and reseeding.  They are willing to pay for and actually do the work, wanting only assurances that the field won't get trashed and that the field won't be developed for several years.

In light of the Capital Budget vs. Operational Budget, it seems that they should be able to find out from PDLM what timeframe exists for the possible construction of parking on the field on which they play.

They also made a strong plea for multi-use fields which would be suitable for both cricket and soccer/football/ultimate, etc.

FOMP sign

Mark Fishbain has provided Greg Helland with cost estimates and a preliminary design for a FOMP sign advertising our existence and our meetings.  There was general consensus that the temporary sign I made for less than $20 looks like a temporary sign made for less than $20, and that a more professional sign might be in order.  I do not remember the cost estimate, but I believe it was in the neighborhood of $200.

Velodrome Nationals

I can't remember this really at all, but I think the Marymoor Velodrome is under consideration to host the 2001 Nationals - this would be the 3rd or 4th week in June.

Concerns about parking for the event were raised.

These notes were made by the webmaster, Michael Hobbs, and they do not constitute an official record of the meeting.  They may have inaccuracies and omissions.  If anyone has any complaints about the content of these notes, they should direct them to Michael Hobbs at, and he will endeavor to correct them.  


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