Si View management change slated for next month

NORTH BEND - Less than six months after entering into a management contract with the Redmond-based nonprofit agency Friends of Youth, the Si View Metropolitan Parks District Commissioners have decided to change leadership at the Si View Community Center and pool.

NORTH BEND – Less than six months after entering into a management contract with the Redmond-based nonprofit agency Friends of Youth, the Si View Metropolitan Parks District Commissioners have decided to change leadership at the Si View Community Center and pool.

Last week district commissioner and chairman Kevin Haggerty announced that the district would assume management responsibilities in an effort to streamline accountability and efficacy. The move, Haggerty said, is not only fiscally responsible, but has been part of the group’s plans since the creation of the district in February of 2003.

“We plan to build upon the work [Friends of Youth] has done and look forward to enhancing the programs and services provided by the district. The citizens of our community want quality recreational opportunities and the district commissioners and staff are dedicated to providing them,” said Haggerty. “The commissioners are excited about the opportunity to have our staff provide services directly to the community.”

The formation of the parks district was approved by voters in an effort to save the facility from closure as the result of King County budget cuts. Creation of the district allows the five commissioners to charge a levy to fund the center.

The recent announcement, according to Haggerty, will find the group amending its budget, but changes will not affect the established levy rate of approximately 41 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Haggerty said the management change, effective May 15, does not necessarily dictate that Friends of Youth, which includes the Snoqualmie HUB program, will not be involved with Si View. The commissioners currently are in discussion with Friends of Youth about offering programs at Si View.

A representative from Friends of Youth, which took over management responsibilities in January, confirmed the group was negotiating with the commissioners, but did not speculate as to the future of the group’s presence at the facility.

Chris Sumi, director of community pools for Northwest Center, said his group is conferring with the commissioners about continuing their operations of the pool. Sumi said Northwest Center is proud of the strides it has made with the pool, and although the final decision will be up to the commissioners, the group plans on sticking around.

Si View Community Center Director Jessi Richardson said due to the complexity of operating a pool, she does not expect the parks district to tackle that task any time soon.

The management switch will find the commissioners adding staff at Si View. Richardson’s position will be increased to full time, while applications for two positions, recreation program specialist and administrative support specialist, are being sought via the group’s Web site. Seasonal part-time positions and a position covering youth and adult athletics likely will be added pending commissioners approval.

Richardson said the focus for the summer months will be on youth programs, special events and aquatics. A handful of adult drop-in activities, such as badminton and volleyball, will be expanded, she added.

In September, Richardson said the focus would shift to expanding adult and family programming, which is expected to include partnerships with Valley service providers such as Children’s Services of Sno-Valley.