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City of Seattle

June 21, 2:25 PM click here to comment > 1

Kudos from a resident for Green Lake staff

One of my core values is to lead an open and effective government. The public expects their government to do their jobs well, and it’s always good to hear from the public when we are able to meet or exceed their expectations.

I recently received a letter from a parent about a experience she had with City staff at Green Lake. She wanted to let me know about the good work our staff had done to help her son fulfill his dreams. It’s a great letter, and I appreciated her comments. City employees work hard to deliver public services, and I thought that recognition should be shared. She agreed to let us post her letter on my blog, which you can read below.

I wanted to write to give kudos to the staff that work at the Green Lake Crew program. My son just completed his novice year. My son is a freshman at Roosevelt, and is also a cancer survivor who has struggled with physical and developmental challenges caused by this for most of his life.

When he told me last spring that he wanted to row crew in the fall, I said, “sure,” thinking he’d give it up quickly. He nagged me as school approached and with some concern I signed him up for the program, hoping that the staff would be able to find some place for him. He is a big kid, very strong, but not coordinated due to a stroke he suffered when he was sick. He also has vision and hearing problems. For these reasons, he’s always avoided any kind of a team sport, although he is active and loves the water and the outdoors.

Green Lake – in particularly Jason Frisk, Mpetela (his assistant), and Lucas Ridinger, the Novice Coach – did a wonderful job involving my son and giving him great opportunities to be a part of the team. He rowed in several regattas this season and plans to join again in the fall (he’s traveling a lot this summer or he’d be on the summer crew).

I really can’t speak highly enough of the program. The expectations are set very high. The kids are required to come every day after school for three hours. The weather this year was awful, as you know, and there were many days they were out on the water in less than kind conditions, and many more days they had to find ways to keep the kids working while off the water, and they did. My son stayed motivated and really loved participating. It’s given him an idea of what he can accomplish if he keeps working hard, and made really helped him grow.

Your staff is nothing short of wonderful. They are tough on the kids, that is certain, but clear and consistent, expert at building character in these kids, in creating an inclusive, team-focused group of young adults. They corral us parents into a finely honed volunteer support team, giving us an opportunity to stay involved with our teenager’s lives in ways that I don’t think activities like theater, band or football can really manage.

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what you have there at Green Lake – it’s truly a unique, magical program that is changing lives of hundreds of young people. I know it couldn’t run nearly as well as it does without the amazing people that are there. I’m very grateful to them and to you for supporting our kids.

(Name withheld at constituent’s request)

This is the kind of service that City employees work hard to offer. And in the event that you don’t get that kind of service, let me know and I’ll see if we can do better. For example, we heard that permit wait times were getting too long, so we worked with City staff and reduced the wait time, helping builders get projects under way. That’s what open, effective government looks like.

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Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

Comments

Comment from DeWitt Whitman
Time June 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

The community truly benefits from this high quality program! Thank you to Seattle Parks and Recreation.

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