Parks & Recreation Board Recommendation Around a Unified Non-Profit Role in Operation and Management of Zilker Park
Here is the Austin Parks & Recreation Board/Commision’s recommendation in response to the Zilker Vision Plan, followed by Park Director, Kimberly McNeely’s, response.
“WHEREAS, the “Operation and Management” section of the Draft Zilker Park Vision Plan recommends the Zilker unified (umbrella) non-profit be tasked with advocacy for the Zilker Park Vision Plan, to engage in private fundraising for capital improvements, and to work with a coalition known as Austin Outdoors to campaign for public funds and advocate for private funding, capital improvements, programming, operations, and maintenance, as well as many other potential roles;”
“WHEREAS, despite good intentions, non-profit organizations are not governmental entities subject to open meetings, public information, bidding, contracting, and other laws intended to allow for transparency and accountability to residents in expenditure of public funds and development of public assets;”
“WHEREAS, the recommendation for a unified non-profit partner and recommendations for the partner’s role, the change to concessions structures, and other operations and management recommendations would be a significant change to the management of Zilker Park and unprecedented for a municipal park in the City of Austin”