San Diego rec centers fear losing control of funds

Posted at 5:36 AM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 12:48:51-04

Registering for a class, activity, or even some sports leagues at a local city rec center means paying a fee. 

And right now, that money stays at that rec center, to be used to maintain the center, expand programs, and renew contracts with known teachers and coaches. 

But that all could change starting next year.

The city of San Diego is informing the 52 recreation center councils that it wants control of all of their money. A memo from the city attorney says that would ensure projects and agreements comply with city contract and wage ordinances. 

That has the local councils nervous about losing control of picking the programs their communities have come to know, and dealing with city bureaucracy when they want to spend the money.

"It would be very sad to see things change for the kids and the programs that they're used to," said Marilee Pacelli, who chairs the Carmel Valley Recreation Council. It stands to lose $450,000 if the city makes the change.

A city spokesman says, however, that the city would keep separate accounts to make sure that each rec center keeps the money that is spent there. He also said the city would make sure the recreation councils have a key advisory role because they know their communities best.

The City Council is expected to take up the issue later this month.