Friday, April 17, 2009 | The proposed fees for the use of park and recreation facilities have no economic basis. From the viewpoint of the city, fees should have nothing to do with cost recovery or stabs at revenue enhancement. Instead, they ought to be set economically — that is, the fees should be set at levels that do not discourage current participation such that the revenue turns out to be lower than when fees were increased. Of course, it is not easy to set fees economically when there is little or no data. The practical alternative is to allow the P&R Dept to change the fee schedule without going through a laborious political process. But then, the P&R Dept would need to use defensible economic analysis…something missing from all current discussion as far as I can see.

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