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Recreation Centers

NEWS
By Roger Twigg and Roger Twigg,Staff Writer Staff Writer Michael A. Fletcher contributed to this story | May 4, 1992
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke today unveiled a plan to close two city recreation centers while proposing alternative uses for eight others.Under the plan, which would take effect July 1, several recreation centers would be offered to community organizations to operate.The plan was given to City Council members today.The 10 centers, which have a combined annual operating budget of $409,790, are spread among the city's six councilmanic districts.Clint Coleman, the mayor's press secretary, said Mayor Schmoke or Department of Recreation and Parks officials conferred with community leaders before proposing the changes, which are intended to improve the effectiveness of the remaining 67 recreation centers.
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NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF | June 9, 1998
Inside the Clarence Du Burns Arena, one of the Baltimore area's premier soccer facilities, 9-year-old Matthew Wilson's eyes lock on the ball in front of him. His arms and legs twitch in anticipation of scoring.Young Matthew tunes out the faint din of cheering parents, and with lightning-fast speed catapults the ball toward the goal. He scores. Lights flash and bells ring.Matthew looks over at his buddy as the soccer pinball machine quiets down and says, "You got another quarter? I want to play again."
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Tom Pelton and Robert Guy Matthews and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | March 28, 1997
Draconian proposals by the city to cover a multimillion budget shortfall are about as predictable as the arrival of spring and Opening Day at Camden Yards. Making the rounds this year is a proposal to close every recreation center in town and cordon off parks from the public.Residents were in an uproar yesterday after learning about another element of the budget cuts -- shutting down all of the city's senior citizen centers.While such drastic cuts are rarely carried out, the reactions of citizens usually put city leaders on the defensive.
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Erin Texeira and Marilyn McCraven contributed to this article | June 7, 1997
Baltimore recreation and parks chief Marlyn J. Perritt abruptly resigned yesterday, one day after the mayor questioned her leadership and ordered a review of the top management of her agency.Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday that he heard about Perritt's resignation secondhand through his deputy chief of staff. He said that he likely will discuss the details of her departure next week."I think she has had to deal with some very difficult situations, particularly the extremely tight budget she's had to deal with and it has been stressful for her," Schmoke said.
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Eric Siegel contributed to this article | June 4, 1997
Hoping to trump City Council members who want to increase the piggyback tax to prevent the closing of recreation centers, Council President Lawrence A. Bell III is proposing a 2 percent across-the-board cut to the biggest municipal agencies.The housing, public works, law and finance departments are on Bell's hit list."We are looking at up to a 2 percent cut," Bell said last night. "We believe that is preferable to these targeted, draconian cuts."To help balance the proposed $2.4 billion budget for the 1998 fiscal year, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is proposing unprecedented cuts of 17 percent to recreation, which would force the closing of several centers, and 50 percent in aid to cultural institutions.
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | October 20, 2000
Despite early City Council concerns about his nomination as director of recreation and parks, Marvin F. Billups Jr. sailed through his confirmation hearing last night, pledging to restore city parks and playgrounds to national prominence. If Mayor Martin O'Malley's nominee is approved by the full council Monday, Billups will inherit a park system that even advocates say is in dire shape. Billups, 58, a division chief in Prince George's County for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, faces the tasks of restoring several deteriorating recreation centers from dangerous conditions and trying to enhance a once-prominent park system that a national study recently said had declined.
NEWS
By Brent Jones | brent.jones@baltsun.com | April 3, 2010
Councilman Carl Stokes called Friday for the city's comptroller to audit the Department of Recreation and Parks and to report the findings to the City Council in 90 days to 120 days. Stokes was joined at the Ambrose Kennedy Pool and Playground, one of the city's pools set to close this summer, by Councilman James B. Kraft and Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. Stokes said he is convinced that there is "hidden money" in the parks department that could allow some recreation centers and pools set to close remain open.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2010
A former Montgomery County recreation official will take the reins at the city's beleaguered Recreation and Parks department, officials announced Tuesday. Gregory A. Bayor, who oversaw special events and cultural programs for Montgomery County for over a decade, was appointed permanent director of the city's recreation and parks department by Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake. Bayor, who starts immediately, will be charged with improving programming and crafting a strategic plan for the department, which came under fire for a lack of leadership and transparency by a volunteer transition team appointed by Rawlings-Blake.
NEWS
December 13, 2011
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is getting a lesson in one of the major downsides of privatizing government services: When you ask outside groups to take over something the city has always done, their agendas won't always be the same as yours. That's what's happening with the mayor's plan to privatize some of Baltimore's recreation centers. One of the nonprofits that is bidding to take over two centers would provide programs not just for the kids that have traditionally been the rec centers' focus but also ex-criminal offenders and psychiatric patients.
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