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Author Topic: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!  (Read 4251 times)

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Offline wecefar

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Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« on: June 22, 2009, 01:18:29 PM »
If you ride (or care about being able to ride) at any of the Wilderness Parks Bike Trails, the parks need your help!!

I posted this under "general" as well, but SWAMPERS need to be heard!! All of the work you have done building and maintaining these trails may be for nothing in 2 years!!!

The info below was forwarded to me, but I spoke with Eddie over the weekend and confirmed it. Please Help!!

Due to the 140 million dollar Hillsborough County budget cut, the Hillsborough County Regional Parks are in serious jeopardy of closing. This letter is to update and familiarize the taxpayers of Hillsborough County and the users of the regional parks with what is happening. There are two things to keep in mind. First is that the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Department is not the enemy. Second is that without your support some or all of these regional parks may have to close permanently by 2011. At this time the regional parks encompass 16,500 acres and serve 4.9 million guests annually.

Currently there are 109 full-time regional park rangers and managers who maintain and operate the 11 regional parks (14 if you count each Wilderness Park site separately). Under the currently proposed 2010 budget-cut plan, 54 full-time, regional park personnel will be terminated (20 of the 54 positions are already vacant due to a hiring freeze). With only 55 remaining employees, the Parks Department will have no choice but to cut the open hours of the regional parks AND close a minimum of 2 days per week. This will only allow them to skim by and just mow grass, service bathrooms and other fundamentals; maintaining boardwalks, trails, pavilions, nature centers, and other key park facilities will come to a halt. The new budget takes effect October 1, however it looks like the personnel cuts and park closings will go into effect either NEXT MONTH (July) or certainly by August 2009.

Further, the 2011 proposed budget will force the Parks Department to cut an additional 35 full-time, regional parks’ personnel leaving only 20 people to maintain 14 parks. At that time (October 2011), the Parks Department will have no choice but to close some or all the regional parks permanently. They will not have enough personnel to handle even the basic mowing let alone cleaning the bathrooms and opening and closing the gates.
They also told me that with the cuts, there will be NO Special Events. This means No Squiggy Weekend, No Squiggy Adventure Race

There are two ways to help save the regional parks. The easy way is to start by sending an email to your (and/or all the) county commissioner(s) stating how much you love and use the parks and that cutting park staff is unacceptable (email address below). Second is to show up at the County Center and attend the county budget workshops and even more importantly the upcoming county commission meetings (schedule below). At the commission meetings you can sign up to publicly voice your opinion to the commissioners. We need as many people as possible to come to the July 16th commission meeting. This will be our biggest and best effort.

Remaining Budget Public Hearings (all starting at 6 p.m.): County Center, Commission Boardroom, 2nd floor, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 (PLEASE ATTEND & SPEAK FOR THE PARKS!)
September 8, 2009
September 17, 2009 (Budget adoption)

The public hearings for the proposed budget will be interactive, and allow residents to call in or email questions and comments during the meetings. In addition to attending in person, residents will be able to watch the meeting live on Hillsborough Television (HTV) on Bright House channel 622 or Verizon and Comcast channel 22 or on the County's website at: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org through live streaming video. Viewers then will be able to submit questions or comments to a special email address: hcbudget@hillsboroughcounty.org; by using an online budget email form on the County's website; or with a special phone number: (813) 307-8337. The comments and questions will be relayed to the County Commissioners during the hearings and answered or read out loud as time allows. All comments will be reviewed by Commissioners.

Remaining Budget Workshops (all starting at 1:30 p.m.) County Center, 2nd Floor Boardroom -- I know these are during the day, but isn't it worth a taking a couple hours off work to save our parks?!?!:
June 18, 2009
July 16, 2009
July 22, 2009
July 29, 2009 (if needed)
July 31, 2009 - Budget Reconciliation

Commissioners may be emailed through the county’s website as follows.
http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/bocc/about/contactusd1.cfm

Offline ProEdgeBiker .

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 01:57:07 PM »
gotta love that Amendment 1....

Offline $irWattZZZZ

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009, 03:21:12 PM »
Did anyone else read that story in the paper a couple weeks ago about some of the salaries these white collar Hills. county crooks are raking in? They listed at least 6 positions all making in excess of $160,000 a year ??? How do you justify that kind of $$$ for a budget director and then turn around and threaten to close parks, programs for disabled kids, etc: !!!!!! The system is BROKE and in need of a total makeover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Gregg

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 04:42:24 PM »
gotta love that Amendment 1....


True, but this goes deeper than that....it is poor planning on government's part.

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 05:07:44 PM »
gotta love that Amendment 1....


True, but this goes deeper than that....it is poor planning on government's part.

people were not well educated before hitting the poles.. you gotta know there's something fishy when the #1 backer for the amendment1 was the Association Of Realtors and the #2 FPL. now FPL is looking to build more power lines across county lands thus killing property value if they live right by there.

Offline bikehard

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 06:43:37 PM »
The reason they are having to close the parks down is so that the "Executives" can pay for their boats and fake ta ta's for their wives. 

Don't even get me started with the budget cuts for Pasco and Hillsboro County Schools!

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Offline firebiker

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 08:42:40 PM »
gotta love that Amendment 1....

Just curious, but what do you do for a living? You sound a little like I do when talking about these cuts.
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Offline wecefar

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 01:48:18 PM »
Holy Smokes! You guys are totally missing the point!!! Rather than bitch and moan about Ammen 1 (which of course SUCKED!) or over paid execs, why the heck are you not getting fired up about trying to fight to save your parks?!?!?

Offline $irWattZZZZ

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2009, 07:30:06 AM »
Is'nt that what is going on here ???

Offline firebiker

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2009, 09:07:30 AM »
Is'nt that what is going on here ???

Thats what I was thinking.
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2009, 09:09:29 AM »

Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2009, 09:36:01 AM »
I dont think anyone on this forum wants the parks to close, and blaming it on amendment 1 or whatever is not helpful either. I think the country uses things like this budget crisis to get our attention and make us think taxes need to be raised. I have never agreed with the county not charging for use of the parks, since all who use them most likley would have no problem paying for that right. With very little effort they could raise plenty of money to keep the parks open and running if they charged everyone who used them $3 to $4 like the state parks do. Even some of the smaller parks like Alderman Ford and Equestrain areas could have a kiosk that distributes parking passes and 1 ranger could make rounds to make sure people are paying. Also, where is all the money that "Friends of the parks" has raised? is that accounted for in the budget somewhere? And I really dont agree with all the county paid "recreation" programs for kids that live in areas such as Bloomingdale and Fishhawk, and other areas like that. There is a ton of real Waste in county and state government that never gets adressed because they are too busy threatening to close things we want to make us think more taxes is the only way to keep them...
 
You know they are trying to push a certain outcome since I have not heard from any of the suggestions by the commisioners about raising funds (other than increasing taxes), but only "Cutting" staff and park hours... Very Sad.......

Offline firebiker

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2009, 09:32:48 PM »
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I dont think anyone on this forum wants the parks to close, and blaming it on amendment 1 or whatever is not helpful either. I think the country uses things like this budget crisis to get our attention and make us think taxes need to be raised. I have never agreed with the county not charging for use of the parks, since all who use them most likley would have no problem paying for that right. With very little effort they could raise plenty of money to keep the parks open and running if they charged everyone who used them $3 to $4 like the state parks do. Even some of the smaller parks like Alderman Ford and Equestrain areas could have a kiosk that distributes parking passes and 1 ranger could make rounds to make sure people are paying. Also, where is all the money that "Friends of the parks" has raised? is that accounted for in the budget somewhere? And I really dont agree with all the county paid "recreation" programs for kids that live in areas such as Bloomingdale and Fishhawk, and other areas like that. There is a ton of real Waste in county and state government that never gets adressed because they are too busy threatening to close things we want to make us think more taxes is the only way to keep them...
 
You know they are trying to push a certain outcome since I have not heard from any of the suggestions by the commisioners about raising funds (other than increasing taxes), but only "Cutting" staff and park hours... Very Sad.......

I agree. But it's hard not to complain when my property taxes only went down $29 and part of that was due to the downturn in housing. But the county I live in took a 12 million $ hit just from Ammend. 1. But your right the problems go deeper than that.
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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2009, 09:54:37 PM »
when i bought my house i knew that my taxes were going to be over $3900/yr .. but i didnt know that my homeowners was going to go from $1500 to almost $3K/year.. Insurance was the main Problem in FL not taxes, now my taxes are $2700 but because of the property value going down.

I rather pay higher taxes or in other words, the taxes i signed up for rather than having EMS/Police & public services suffer.

Government doesnt go broke.. they'll get the money out of us one way or another.

While thinking hard "putting on my XTR cranks on my bike" on the toilet at Alafia last sunday, i noticed the buletin on the door stating that all Fees for the park will be going up starting July 1st..

Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Morris Bridge Parks in BIG TROUBLE!!
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2009, 08:45:43 AM »
when i bought my house i knew that my taxes were going to be over $3900/yr .. but i didnt know that my homeowners was going to go from $1500 to almost $3K/year.. Insurance was the main Problem in FL not taxes, now my taxes are $2700 but because of the property value going down.

I rather pay higher taxes or in other words, the taxes i signed up for rather than having EMS/Police & public services suffer.

Government doesnt go broke.. they'll get the money out of us one way or another.

While thinking hard "putting on my XTR cranks on my bike" on the toilet at Alafia last sunday, i noticed the buletin on the door stating that all Fees for the park will be going up starting July 1st..

the goverment needs to do a better job with waste/fraud in the medicade, food stamp, public housing, and many other "Give Away" programs before they start firing EMS/Fire, Police, rangers, closing parks and what not. The sad thing is they use the later to scare us into more taxes and let the waste continue in other areas.... 

 

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