Revisions in Parks sponsorship/naming policies

  • Posted on: 24 April 2007
  • By: Amanda Fritz

Revised proposals by Portland Parks & Recreation (PPR) staff for new Sponsorship and Naming policies are now posted on line. Comments will be taken on line until April 30, 5 p.m. (Pet Peeve: why not make it May 1, 8 a.m.? I doubt staff will start working on them until the next morning, and people with other jobs might benefit from the extra evening).

Only three at-large citizens were able to scramble to make the hastily-called meeting at 5:30 p.m. last Thursday (another Pet Peeve: don't schedule meetings that require people to go downtown - or anywhere - at rush hour!). It was worth the hour-long trip on the bus, for me at least. Linda Robinson from East Portland and Mary Ann Schwab from inner SE made time in their busy schedules, too. I mention them by name because I think community volunteers, often women, who show up and donate precious hours in meetings time after time after time, don't get nearly enough credit for affecting public policy for the long term public good. Woody Allen said 90% of success is showing up, and showing up at this meeting resulted in more improvements in the recommendation.

The changes since the last draft, on the table last Thursday, are shown on the PPR website. At that meeting, I heard promises to consider further improvements, including:

* Reduce the threshold requiring Council approval of Sponsorship deals from $500,000 to $100,000. Currently, no sponsorship deals are reviewed by Council; they're all approved administatively within PPR and by its Commissioner-in-charge.

* Add review by a committee of stakeholders for Sponsorships over the threshold, and specify notifying the affected Neighborhood Association as part of that process.

* Add a specific line item stating that corporate logos are only allowed on sponsor recognition walls and plaques, and temporary signs and banners, not as permanent signs in parks facilities.

Those are the highlights I remember. Bob Schulz of PPR said they considered my other requests and will be getting back to me on why my suggestions aren't incorporated. The most important of those is probably the core policy question of whether we should rely on corporate sponsors and major donors to fund Portland's parks. That is a bigger question, and the battle perhaps belongs more appropriately in a wider budget and overall city policy discussion on taxes and service provision, rather than in these relatively minor specific administrative rules. Too bad it wasn't a core issue in the Visioning process.

Overall, I see significant improvements and tightening of the Sponsorship and Naming policies resulting from this quick public process to review the administrative policies PPR had been using for years. I believe they make the prospect of McParks less likely, and I would like to see the City adopt similar versions for sponsorships and naming of all other public properties including Water Bureau open space ("HydroParks") and City buildings and facilities. If such policies had been adopted a decade ago, we wouldn't have swooshes on public basketball courts, and we would still have Civic Stadium in our midst.


we would still have Civic Stadium in our midst We still do. It's just currently mislabeled. We're free to call it whatever we want, and I'm betting we have a Civic Stadium once again someday soon. I'm visiting my Dad in Florida, and I don't understand all the details, but apparently the state has sold off the B-Line Expressway (a toll road) that we take from the airport. The name's been changed to Beach-Line (sounds more touristy, I guess) but people here call it what they always have. I still call our Civic Auditorium, Civic Auditorium too.

The draft Sponsorship and Naming Policies dated 4/16/07 were replaced this afternoon with drafts dated 4/23/07. Changes made in response to comments at the April 19th meeting are highlighted in yellow. -- Linda

Thanks, Linda. Hmm. The policy on logos doesn't match what I thought we decided, and certainly not what I want. It may be a mistake, but the place in the draft that deals with logos now says they can be on permanent signs and plaques in parks. My understanding was the policy would allow them on temporary banners and on donor wall plaques, but not on permanent signs in parks and parks facilities.

In talking with Bob Schulz in Parks, he agrees the intent of the meeting's consensus was not to allow logos on permanent signs within parks, only on donor recognition walls (I'd rather not at all, but I can compromise on a small wall plaque amid many others). He plans to review with his team and hopefully post a revision tomorrow.