Properly run, recreation centers should be buzzing with activity -- maybe even around the clock -- drawing in people of all ages for activities from sports to crafts to music or ballet. Midnight basketball? Why not -- other cities have tried it successfully, and it's certainly better than getting caught in drug cross-fire on city streets. But except for a few outstanding
programs around the city, too many of Baltimore's 86 recreation centers simply do not provide enough services to justify their high cost.
As the city copes with shrinking revenue, it needs to think creatively about redeploying its resources. So we applaud this week's announcement by Mayor Schmoke that he views favorably a report from an outside consultant recommending that the city close many of its recreation centers or turn them over to private organizations.