Consultant hired to help Rec and Parks figure out its future

Board of Estimates approves contract with Colorado company

rec parks HQ

Rec and Parks headquarters building at Druid Hill Park.

Photo by: Mark Reutter

The Board of Estimates today approved, over the objections of City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, a contract with a Colorado consultant to develop a vision plan for the Recreation and Parks Department.

In return for $53,215 in fees, Denver-based GreenPlay LLC will work with the department “to develop a new strategy for the future,” Gennady Schwartz, chief of capital development, told the spending board.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that having a strategic plan and consultant were among the recommendations of a 2011 report by a mayoral task force that proposed ways to consolidate, modernize, privatize and/or close youth rec centers in the city. Schwartz said the department has struggled for years “with buildings underutilized because they were not designed for quality services.”

GreenPlay will help the agency identify gaps in service, deficiencies in recreational facilities and pinpoint services “we should not be doing.” Schwartz called the group nationally recognized experts in strategic planning for parks and recreation agencies.

The contract, discussed in detail here, was approved by the mayor, Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, City Solicitor George Nilson and Public Works Director Rudolph Chow.

Young voted “no” because he objected to the lack of participation in the contract by an African-American firm.

Be sure to check our full comment policy before leaving a comment.

  • trueheart4life

    Former Rec & Parks Director Bayor brought us his Montgomery County suburban “community center” model without benefit of a consultant, instead using a Mayoral Task Force and the current Director Burkeen seems unable to produce any strategy so he hires this Colorado company to deliver us a mid-west solution. Hiring “alien” directors to solve BMore’s problems is obviously our mayor’s preference, which like most of her initiatives, seems to be a failing strategy. When will she do a little self reflection and see that her flawed leadership approach is the real problem?

    • larry

      SRB doesn’t do anything for local residents . just developers and tourist

  • Diogenes

    First Rec & Parks needs to hire a top quality Director who is going to stay for a while. All the plans by an outside consulting firms are worth nothing without a top flight leader who will be here long enough to implement them. To date the turnover has been a continual revolving door of mediocrity.

  • ushanellore


    Consult a consultant
    to figure out your future
    and by the time you figure out
    that the consultant hired
    his own consultant who advised him
    his consultant future depends
    on not admitting
    no one can predict the future–
    the future is already here and it is bleak
    because the consultant you hired
    laughs rosily into his future
    with a check from you
    for not figuring out your future
    and you are down a fat amount
    yet, already an assiduous searcher
    for another consultant to tell you
    the first one was a poor prognosticator…

    Usha Nellore

  • Sean Tully

    I think Rawlings-Blake should hire a consultant to look into why she finds the need to hire so many consultants. And Jack Young is funny in that he isn’t against this waste of money, he’s just mad that it wasn’t wasted on a firm owned by an African American. You couldn’t write better comedy than this.

    • Gerald Neily

      If you think the city’s consultant-mania is funny, Sean, look at the state. The total cost of just planning for the Red Line is $60,806,000 – mostly to consultants, coordinators, liaisons and the like. Not engineers, just planners. And how about the consultant cost for Obamacare?

      • ushanellore

        You mean Obamanocare? Yes, that’s one’s big on consultants and small on logic.

      • ham_snadwich

        Engineer and consultant is not mutually exclusive.

  • October 6, 2015

  • October 5, 2015

    • Last Call really was Last Call on Saturday night for the Hippo, Baltimore’s well-known gay nightclub, which closed its doors permanently after 43 years in business. As first reported in The Brew, longtime owner Chuck Bowers disclosed to employees last May that he was shutting the nightclub “sometime in the fall” and that the building […]

  • October 2, 2015

  • September 30, 2015

    • Morgan State University professor Lawrence Brown  didn’t mince words. “Congratulations, you are in the very home of racial zoning: Baltimore, Maryland,” he said to a room of about 300 community advocates and activists who had gathered at an Inner Harbor hotel to talk about reinvesting in Baltimore’s low-income communities. “We created it in 1910.” Brown was […]

  • September 25, 2015

    • The Crown Cork & Seal building in Greektown is one of Baltimore’s hidden gems. With its high ceilings and industrial elevators, the 1.1 million square foot space maintains the feel of the original industrial interior, but is now used by artists, woodworkers, craftsmen, and coffee brewers. The Clifton Mansion, which has anchored Baltimore’s Clifton Park communities […]

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • December 15, 2014

    •   “Ha ha, so not a surprise.” “Shocking…not!!” We get applause but also the occasional eye-roll these days for our accountability reporting – like last week’s piece about how tax cuts promised by the mayor as a selling point for Horseshoe Baltimore probably won’t happen, thanks to the casino’s lower-than-expected revenues. We get where the […]