The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department faces $125 million in deferred maintenance each year, ranging from playground maintenance and aquatics needs to mowing and servicing trash and recycling receptacles. What would be your strategy for addressing this need?

Mariana Salazar

City Council, District 1

As our city grows, it is critical that City Council is monitoring and planning
for the rising costs of maintenance and improvement of parks and other
vital city needs. The parks in East Austin, in particular, need improvements
and modernization. In order to meet these ongoing and growing needs of
our communities, we need to balance city revenue generation with
maintaining affordability for our community members.

With this in mind, I feel that parks offer an opportunity for substantial
public-private partnerships and leveraging the resources of major
companies that are moving to austin or have made austin their home. As
we are offering incentives for businesses to come to Austin, we need to
also be thinking about how to help these companies become good
stewards of our community and invest in the development and
maintenance of parks and other quality of life services.

The same applies to real estate developers- developing properties for
housing or mixed use should also take into consideration creating public
spaces for people to enjoy natural settings and gather as a community. Our
economic development as a city cannot overshadow our commitment to the
development and maintenance of our local culture and natural spaces.
All economic development and land development within the City should
also be seen as an opportunity to develop park spaces, preserve natural
habitats for native species, and emphasize the connection of businesses or
development to the community.