2021 ARC President's Meeting Q&A

Garfield Super Block Project Update

  • Seattle City Council approved $500,000 to assist with the design phase of the project. Seattle Parks and Recreation Planning and Development hopes to receive additional funding from a Seattle School District Levy, State ear mark, and Land Conservation Fund to start phase 1 of construction at the end of 2022.  Thank you for your tireless efforts Mr. Robert Stephens and the efforts of so many people in the community to see this project through.

What is the 2022 Advisory Council Financial Statement Reports process?  What will be different from years past?

  • All advisory councils will receive a monthly Profit & Loss Actual Statement for your specific council budget activity and a Consolidated Recreation Net Position report.
  • For the small craft centers and the Amy Yee Tennis Center Advisory Council who under a Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement in addition to the reports listed above will also receive a statement of Net Position and as requested details of specific transactions.

What is ARC’s School-Age Care (SAC) hiring plan?

  • There is a national childcare staff shortage. ARC has implemented multiple strategies to increase staff hiring and stay competitive with other local childcare agencies.
    • Employee referral incentive program for current employees
    • Hiring bonus for new hires
    • The recruitment team has increased posting on multiple platforms, begun attending in-person recruiting events and regular report progress to the Executive Director.
  • ARC Administrative staff are also being deployed to sites to cover any shortages while new applicants complete the hiring process.

Does ARC complete exit interviews for staff that are leaving and what are the reasons staff are giving for their departure?

  • Exit interviews are a normal part of ARC’s process when an employee departs the organization.
  • Common reasons are:
    • Exhaustion and burnout
    • Pursuing other opportunities with organizations like Seattle Public Schools
    • Going back to school
    • Taking a break to rejuvenate and hope to return

How should Advisory Councils approach the City regarding technology centers that have been dissolved due to budget constraints?

  • The RecTech centers were closed at the beginning of the pandemic due to a negative budget impact.  Prior to their closure, SPR was in conversation with Seattle Public Libraries to create a shared strategy for providing this service to the public with increased capacity across the system.  The impacts of responding to the COVID-19 brought those conversations to a halt. 
  • The hope is that in 2022, talks will resume and SPR will explore creative solutions to meeting that need.  SPR will not return to fixed asset-based computer centers as we had in the past.  We are committed to an increasing STEM opportunities and programming.
  • Advisory Councils can help by identifying partners that can provide low to no-cost opportunities for communities furthest from access to technology and quality STEM activities.

Since ARC is an extension of the City as far as political advocacy is considered does this mean that it will lose its 501c3 status and no longer be able to pursue grants or other funding opportunities designated for non-profits?

  • ARC remains a 501c3 and continues to have the ability to apply for grants and funding opportunities designated for non-profits.
  • The consideration of ARC as an extension of the City applies to political advocacy.  ARC employees utilize City resources and therefore must adhere to City of Seattle Ethics guidelines for advocacy efforts.  Guidance for Advisory Councils is being developed and will be shared on the ARC website along with educational opportunities.

Will Laurelhurst Community Center be reopening in 2022?

  • In the Mayor’s 2022 Budget Proposal Laurelhurst will not operate as a traditional community center and instead will be utilized as a rental space.  The cost savings made available from this change will be reallocated to make the piloted Rec N’ the Streets program a regular SPR offering.

What is the latest update on Alki Community Center operations?

  • Alki Community Center continues to operate as a Licensed Childcare Center and rental facility.
  • There will continue to be recreation programs, including pottery, available at the Alki Bathhouse which are overseen by SPR staff stationed at Hiawatha Community Center.

Have the ARC Budget Tools changed from previous years?

  • Yes, the Recreation Programming Tool has changed to incorporate the Equity Priority Populations recouperation tiers and the new bottom line shows the consolidated percentage amount required within the tier designated for that center. 

Our council anticipates having expenses before our programs begin in 2022 that would normally cover those expenses.  Can we run a negative budget at the start of the year?

  • Draft your budget proposal incorporating expenses and revenues as they actually occur in the year.  As the ARC Accounting team reviews and consolidates the entire system’s budget they will consider the impacts and timing of transactions.

Should we assume that center hours return to 2019 levels for the sake of budget planning?

  • SPR anticipates that hours will return to 2019 levels in 2022.   However, the guidance for programming levels is to increase offerings gradually and not plan for 100% of pre-pandemic levels at the start of the year.

Will the Equity Fund Accounts be replenished?

  • Teen Enhancement Grant
    • Reviewing how to allocate funds to support teen programs across the system without the need to apply for grants.  Additional 
  • ARC Equity Fund
    • The Equity Fund was not sustainable as ARC worked to maintain operations during the pandemic.
    • There will be a process in the future for the Partnership to determine the most effective way to utilize surplus to meet shared equity goals.
    • The current Equity Priority Populations consolidated budget process is designed as a systemic approach to increase equitable access to recreation programs without the reliance on a surplus.