A Slap In the Face
JUN 17, 2021 —
Here is Seattle Parks’ most recent answer to our requests.
Not surprisingly, this most recent reply still does not directly address any of our requests. Instead, it calls them suggestions. And it proposes that some Park employee without the power to make any significant decision can coordinate with other staff to see if they can work something out. We know better.
It does not address the fact that Seattle Parks chose the most undesirable tennis courts to make them available to pickleball players.
It does not answer how Seattle Parks measured “high-demand” areas for pickleball in Southeast Seattle and managed to exclude Jefferson and Rainier from the results.
It suggests that we raise funds to donate more semi-permanent outdoor pickleball nets until Seattle Parks has enough nets for every painted pickleball court.
It mentions that Seattle Parks now has a “citywide pickleball planning committee”, but it fails to mention if this committee contains any representatives of the pickleball community. It certainly does not have any representative from the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, or any of the Southeast Seattle pickleball players who sent this petition to the Superintendent. We suspect it is made exclusively of Parks employees, some of which work for the Amy Yee tennis center.
Finally, it mentions that Seattle Parks’ staff plan to meet with the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) board members at least quarterly. Is this supposed to be some sort of substitute for the meeting we, Southeast Seattle pickleball players, asked to have with the Superintendent?
As one of the recipients of this email said: “this is what a slap in the face feels like”.
You can read the full email from Seattle Parks below.
From: Dunlap, Laurie
<Laurie.Dunlap@seattle.gov> On Behalf Of PKS_Info
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 3:42 PM
Subject: RE: Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now
June 15, 2021
Miguel and other Southeast pickleball players, hello again.
The court lining and refinishing described in our June 3 email is the extent of what Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) has capacity for at this time.
To explore possible options for the future, please contact Tim Pretare (firstname.lastname@example.org): Tim can coordinate with other staff to see if SPR can work toward any of your specific suggestions, and he can work with you to explore other options, such as your members raising funds to donate more semi-permanent nets until we have enough nets for every painted court.
Please be assured that the pickleball community continues to have SPR’s ear through the citywide pickleball planning committee. SPR staff plan to meet with the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) board members at least quarterly.
Superintendent’s Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation