The Bronx is still a forgotten distant relative, especially when it comes to Parks

Our great city continues to neglect its own fair share rules and treat the Bronx as if it were a forgotten distant relative. Just as is the case with the issue of supportive housing, the Bronx is not treated fairly by the city when it comes to maintaining and managing our parks.

Despite having the largest park in the city (Pelham Bay Park) the Bronx lags behind every other borough, except for Staten Island, when it comes to park personnel.

Of the city’s 405 PEP officers, the Bronx has only 22.

The fiscal year 2019 preliminary budget for the Department of Parks and Recreation includes funding for 266 positions that are broken up by borough. There are 36 for the Bronx; 64 for Brooklyn; 92 for Manhattan; 47 for Queens; and 27 for Staten Island.

In addition to the positions mentioned above there is also a disproportionate number of maintenance and gardening personnel by borough. Of the 102 city park workers only 17 of them are based in the Bronx, and of the 51 gardeners only 8 are for the Bronx.

It is time that the Bronx be treated as an equal and be given its fair share of city resources. I am not suggesting that our community should get all, or even a majority, of available funding and personnel, but our borough should get what it is entitled to and has earned.

This particular issue is only one example of the larger problem, but it is one that can, and should, be addressed head on. That is why during Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation budget hearing I challenged the administration to do more for Bronx pars. I look forward to working with parks commissioner Silver and all of you to bring more attention to these issues in order to ensure that we in the Bronx get our fair share.

About Mark Gjonaj: Councilman Gjonaj represents the 13th Council District in the Bronx, which includes the Allerton, City Island, Country Club, Edgewater Park, Ferry Point, Locust Point, Morris Park, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens , Pelham Parkway, Schuylerville, Silver Beach, Spenser Estates, Throggs Neck, Van Nest, Waterbury LaSalle, Westchester Square, and Zerega neighborhoods.

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