Bill S5689A-2013

Establishes and empowers a neighborhood parks alliance within the New York city department of parks and recreation

Establishes and empowers a neighborhood parks alliance within the New York City department of parks and recreation.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CITIES
  • Aug 2, 2013: PRINT NUMBER 5689A
  • Aug 2, 2013: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CITIES
  • Jun 5, 2013: REFERRED TO CITIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5689A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to establishing and empowering a neighborhood parks alliance within the New York city department of parks and recreation

PURPOSE:

This bill would amend the administrative code of the city of New York by establishing a neighborhood parks alliance board and fund to administer additional funding, provided by contributing conservancies, to less well funded recipient parks across the city.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends the administrative code of the city of New York by adding a new Section 18-142.

Subsection 1 establishes a neighborhood parks alliance within the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Subsection 2 sets forth the composition and rules of appointment for the board of directors of the neighborhood parks alliance.

Subsection 3 establishes the powers and duties of the board of directors.

Subsection 4 requires contributing conservancies to contribute twenty percent of their operating funds to the neighborhood parks fund and attend an annual general meeting of the neighborhood alliance board.

Subsection 5 establishes the neighborhood parks fund and the rules regarding its monies.

Subsection 6 establishes definitions for the purposes of the new Section 18-142.

Section 2 sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

In a city as dense and expensive as New York, parks are not a luxury or an amenity; they are backyards and vital public places for New Yorkers.

The marquee jewels in the system - for example, Central Park and Prospect Park - are well maintained. But the city provides only 15 percent of Central Park's $45.8 million annual budget, and only about 65 percent of Prospect Park's $12.3 million budget. Instead, large conservancies fill the significant funding gap at these parks and others. At the same time, about 15% of city parks are rated "not acceptable" by the City's own management report -- broken asphalt, trash and graffiti are commonplace.

This bill will level the playing field by establishing a Neighborhood Parks Alliance, which would form partnerships between the

well-financed "contributing conservancies" - those with an operating budget of over five million dollars - with "recipient parks" in need of more money and support.

A contributing conservancy would commit 20 percent of its operating budget to the Neighborhood Parks Alliance Fund, administered by the Neighborhood Parks Alliance board with broad representation under the City Office of Parks and Recreation.

Any park that has been rated a unacceptable ranking by the City Office of Parks and Recreation in the last two years would become a recipient park and be eligible for increased funding.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The ninetieth day after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5689--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 5, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to establishing and empowering a neighborhood parks alliance within the New York city department of parks and recreation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 18-142 to read as follows: S 18-142 NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ALLIANCE. 1. ESTABLISHMENT. THERE IS HERE- BY ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT A NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ALLIANCE TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK. 2. BOARD. (A) THE ALLIANCE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY A BOARD WHICH SHALL BE COMPOSED OF EIGHT MEMBERS TO BE APPOINTED AS FOLLOWS: (1) ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED BY EACH BOROUGH PRESIDENT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; (2) ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; (3) ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; (4) ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE PUBLIC ADVOCATE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. (B) TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, IN MAKING APPOINTMENTS, EACH APPOINTING AUTHORITY SHALL ENDEAVOR TO HAVE THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD REFLECT THE RACIAL, ETHNIC, GENDER, LANGUAGE AND GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. (C) TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, THE MEMBERSHIP SHALL INCLUDE ACTIVE MEMBERS OF PARK ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS OR THOSE THAT HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING ON URBAN OPEN SPACE DEVELOPMENT.
(D) ANY VACANCY ON THE BOARD SHALL BE FILLED BY THE RESPECTIVE APPOINTING AUTHORITY IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT WAS MADE. (E) THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR TERMS OF FOUR YEARS. (F) THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL RECEIVE NO COMPENSATION FOR THEIR SERVICES. 3. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD. THE BOARD: (A) SHALL APPOINT AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WHO SHALL ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICIES OF THE BOARD; (B) IS AUTHORIZED, WITHIN APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE THEREFOR, TO APPOINT SUCH EMPLOYEES AS ARE NECESSARY TO EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND FULFILL ITS DUTIES; (C) SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ADOPT, AMEND AND RESCIND RULES AND REGU- LATIONS TO GOVERN PROCEDURES OF THE BOARD IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION; (D) SHALL ESTABLISH AND ADMINISTER THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS FUND IN A BANK OR OTHER FEDERALLY INSURED DEPOSITORY LOCATED WITHIN THE STATE; (E) SHALL ESTABLISH A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY CHARGED AND AUTHORIZED TO MANAGE, ALLOCATE AND DISTRIBUTE THE FUNDS PROVIDED BY CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCY FUNDS TO RECIPIENT PARKS; (F) SHALL DETERMINE CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY OF PARKS TO RECEIVE MONIES FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS FUND; AND (G) SHALL PUBLICIZE THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARK FUND TO QUALIFYING RECIPIENT PARKS. 4. CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCIES. CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCIES: (A) TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCIES SHALL SHARE PARK MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES WITH RECIPIENT PARKS. (B) SHALL BE REQUIRED TO CONTRIBUTE NO LESS THAN TWENTY PERCENT OF THEIR OPERATING BUDGETS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS FUND ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. (C) SHALL ATTEND AN ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ALLIANCE BOARD AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM RECIPIENT PARKS. 5. THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS FUND. (A) THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS FUND SHALL CONSIST OF ALL REVENUES RECEIVED BY THE ALLIANCE FROM CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCIES AND ALL OTHER MONEYS APPROPRIATED, CREDITED, OR TRANS- FERRED THERETO FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE PURSUANT TO LAW. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION SHALL PREVENT THE ALLIANCE FROM RECEIVING GRANTS, GIFTS OR BEQUESTS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE FUND AS DEFINED IN THIS SUBDIVISION AND DEPOSITING THEM INTO THE FUND ACCORDING TO LAW. (B) NO MONIES FROM THE FUND OR THE ALLIANCE SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE GENERAL FUND OR ANY SPECIAL REVENUE FUND OR SHALL BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN THE PURPOSES SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION. (C) MONIES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARK FUND SHALL BE USED FOR THE SOLE PURPOSES OF FUNDING THE OPERATIONS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ALLIANCE AND MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS OF RECIPIENT PARKS. (D) MONIES FROM THE FUND SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED BY THE BOARD TO RECIPI- ENT PARKS BASED ON CRITERIA TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD. 6. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: (A) "CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCY" SHALL MEAN ANY NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY WITH AN OPERATING BUDGET OF NO LESS THAN FIVE MILLION DOLLARS THAT OPER- ATES ANY PARK OR PORTION OF ANY PARK UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PARKS AND RECREATION IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN CONSERVANCY ARRANGEMENT AND PROVIDED THAT "CONSERVANCY" SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY THAT OPERATES IN THREE OR
MORE BOROUGHS, THAT ENTERS INTO A WRITTEN AGREEMENT WITH THE NEIGHBOR- HOOD PARKS ALLIANCE THAT COMMITS NO LESS THAN TWENTY PERCENT OF ITS ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ALLIANCE. (B) "CONSERVANCY ARRANGEMENT" SHALL MEAN ANY LICENSE OR OTHER WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION ALLOWING A CONSERVANCY TO OPERATE ANY PARK OR PORTION OF ANY PARK UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PARKS AND RECRE- ATION IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK. (C) "OPERATES" SHALL MEAN THE ABILITY TO HIRE A MAJORITY OF FULL TIME STAFF FOR SUCH PARK. (D) "RECIPIENT PARKS" SHALL MEAN ALL PARKS THAT HAVE A BUDGET PROVIDED SOLELY BY THE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY AND HAVE HAD A RANKING OF UNACCEPTABLE FROM THE DEPARTMENT IN THE PRECEDING TWO YEARS AND FOR WHICH THE LOCAL COUNCIL MEMBER AND THE DEPARTMENT HAVE SIGNED A MEMORANDUM OF UNDER- STANDING TO MAINTAIN FUNDING FROM THE MUNICIPALITY AT THE AMOUNT BUDGET- ED IN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR. (E) "NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS FUND" SHALL MEAN THE FUND ADMINISTERED BY THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ALLIANCE WITH REVENUE GENERATED FROM CONTRIBUTING CONSERVANCIES. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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