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Parks Dept. Report Fails to List Major Contributions

A mandatory report meant to shed light on funding for parks lacks detailed information.

Four years ago, the City Council passed a law that would reveal how much money was flowing into each city park, but the most recent report from the 2010 fiscal year leaves out much of the information lawmakers originally required, according to the New York Times.

The legislation required the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to prepare an annual report that would include the contributions of nonprofits and other private donors for every park across the five boroughs.

The most recent report, says the Times, fails to list the Central Park Conservancy, the city’s largest park nonprofit, which spent $28 million during that period. The Union Square Partnership, the Madison Square Park Conservancy and the Friends of Washington Square Park were also missing from the report.

“It doesn’t reflect a real effort to comply with the law,” Alan Gerson, a former councilman who sat on the parks committee in 2008, said. “Whether it’s for schools, or parks or any public place, the public should know where the private money is coming from and what it’s buying."

In the Parks Department’s 2010 report, only seven out of the three dozen park conservancy groups who spent enough to warrant inclusion in the report were actually listed. Of those included, the dollar amounts are not clear – for example, The Prospect Park Alliance had expenditures of $10 million, but is only listed as “$1 million or more.”

The Times adds that the latest report, covering the 2011 fiscal year, was due seven months ago but has still not been finished.

Phil Konigsberg August 28, 2012 at 04:04 PM
If the law is being violated, who is responsible for oversight regarding compliance with the law and which agency/elected official is responsible for enforcement?

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