The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at The Shilo Inn, 707 Ocean Shores Blvd. N.W., Ocean Shores. A full meeting agenda is available online at www.parks.wa.gov/commtg.asp . Time for public comment is provided at all regular meetings, which are held seven times a year at pre-determined locations around the state.
A discussion of the governor’s proposed budget for 2009-11 is scheduled for 1 p.m. The proposal for State Parks includes the potential closure of 15 parks and an environmental learning center, after other reductions. Those reductions include a hold on equipment replacement, reduced administrative and program functions at State Parks headquarters and the potential closure of one region office, as well as freezing funding support to concession and partner programs not considered core to the agency mission. No action will be taken on this discussion item. More information about the proposed budget reductions is outlined in News Fact Sheet 09-002, available online at www.parks.wa.gov/newsreleases/
At 10 a.m., the Commission will consider adoption of the State Auditor’s Office’s performance audit of the agency and the audit action plan. The audit was conducted under Initiative 900, a voter initiative calling for the State Auditor’s Office to conduct independent, comprehensive performance audits of state and local governments on behalf of citizens. The State Parks audit is the first comprehensive agency operations audit conducted under the initiative. The final audit report, issued on Dec. 23, 2008, recommends areas for improvement primarily centered around documentation of activities; modification of management processes; policy updates with communication and training for staff; and economy and efficiency of operations through meetings, trainings and conferences. The audit also recognized the need for updated technology and equipment to establish computer connectivity between parks and other offices.
Other agenda items the Commission will consider throughout the day:
· Appointing Kelly Lambert of Southeast Washington to fill an open position on the State Parks Snowmobile Advisory Committee, which provides advice and feedback on State Parks’ management of winter recreation programs.
· Adopting land classification plans and long-term boundaries for Central Kitsap Area State Parks, including Blake Island, Manchester, Illahee and Scenic Beach State Parks. Classification and Management Plans are developed with public input to guide any future development and are used as a management tool by park managers.
· Authorizing acquisition of 10 acres of property near Dosewallips State Park in order to replace a drain field.
· Accepting the City of Oroville’s annexation proposal at Osoyoos Lake State Park, to solve road right-of-way and entrance safety issues as well as to clear the way for city development to the north.
· Modifying Commission meeting locations for 2009 and approving 2010 meeting locations.
· Approving the Director’s performance agreement with the Commission for 2009.
Reports to the Commission, not slated for action, will include updates on the capital development program and a placer mining pilot program on ocean beaches.
Commission work session
A work session is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at The Shilo Inn. The public is invited, however, no public comment nor formal action are taken at Commission work sessions. Discussion items will include a detailed budget report and discussion of wetland mitigation, as well as Commissioner items.
A park tour is scheduled to depart at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23, from State Parks headquarters, 1111 Israel Road S.W., to tour the Nisqually Mashell site in Pierce County.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 121 parks and several recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The 95-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.