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Praise for Parks despite criticism

Monday, December 12, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

At their Dec. 6 meeting, members of the Parks and Recreation Board responded with compassion to Kimberly McNeeley, assistant director of the Parks and Recreation Department, when she delivered a presentation on the department’s recent Fiscal Year 2015-16 audit. The audit found that PARD’s current resource allocation strategy has proved ineffective, in large part due to the inadequacy of one of its main management instruments, the Program Planning Worksheet tool. “There is some onus on the Parks and Recreation Department, because if people aren’t completing (the Program Planning worksheets) correctly then we need to take responsibility for that,” McNeeley said at the meeting. Despite the problems raised by the audit, board members were united in their praise of PARD staff. “I think y’all do a great job on such a limited time and budget,” said Board Member Susan Roth. Board Member Alex Schmitz even joked that it was a good sign that PARD had undergone a city audit without the Austin Monitor writing anything about it. In fact, the Monitor did publish an article, on Sept. 9, with the headline, “Audit says PARD needs more data, money.”

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