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Kent seeks applicants to serve on new Parks and Recreation Commission

City of Kent leaders hope a new volunteer panel will provide a formal platform for input about the strategic planning efforts that influence Kent’s parks and recreation system.

The City Council voted earlier this month to establish a Parks and Recreation Commission, where its members will serve in an advisory capacity to the mayor, city council and parks staff.

Councilmember Debbie Ranniger, chair of the Parks and Human Services Committee says the programs and services provided by Kent Parks are essential to the livability of our community.

“We’ve developed a vibrant parks and recreation system over the last 50 years – we need to better connect the amenities and programs to the people we serve.  We believe this commission will help achieve that goal,” Ranniger said in a city media release.

Appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council, the commission will consist of 16 members, including two high school students. At least 10 members must be Kent residents. While the formal schedule will be determined by the commissioners, the group is required to meet monthly.

The term of office for commissioners is three years but, to stagger turnover, the terms for the first four commissioners appointed and confirmed expire Dec. 31, 2015.  The terms for the second six commissioners expire Dec .31, 2016; and the terms for the final six commissioners expire Dec. 31, 2017.

Commissioners will be asked to provide input and guidance on the following:

• Parks and trails planning

• Priorities for land/facilities acquisition

• Development, design and operation of parks programming and facilities

• Capital improvements planning

• Regulations and restrictions governing parks use

• Concessions

• Contracts and interlocal and lease agreements.

Those interested in applying for one of the commission positions should submit their name, contact information, and a brief statement as to why they would like to serve.

Applications are due by Aug. 31 and may be submitted online at KentWA.gov, or printed and mailed to Jeff Watling, Director, Parks Recreation and Human Services, Kent City Hall, 220 4th Ave. S., Kent, WA 98032 or by email to jwatling@kentwa.gov.

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