Despite Calls for Transparency, City's Rec & Parks Dept. Changes Ranger Assignments Under the Radar, Say Neighbors
A park ranger at the Griffith Observatory | Photo by jondoeforty1 via Flickr
Neighbors around Griffith Park are up in arms after a move to shift Park Ranger resources without community dialogue. Over the year, community groups said they have requested transparency when changes were made to the Division. However, neighbors who attended at a city council committee on Tuesday to speak about the recent shootings of eight coyotes instead found out about a shift in ranger resources due to budget woes.
Neighbors were "blindsided by the proposals and objected vigorously on the spot to their content and unilateral nature," described an an e-mail floating around the community.
"I have directed that changes be made to make the Park Ranger Division more productive, efficient, effective, and accountable," wrote Jon Kirk Mukri, the department's General Manager, in an internal memo(.pdf) announcing that rangers will work a schedule that includes more days but with less hours. The changes and reassignments will take place on October 25th "in order to better utilize limited resources and meet operational needs."
And while that idea may be sound, neighborhood groups were weary of the change without review. All the brouhaha over the last two days has prompted a last-minute meeting tonight with Councilman Tom LaBonge's office. That info is below:
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Start: 6:00 -Finish
Citibank Building, 2nd Floor
1965 N. Hillhurst Blvd.