Apply for new recreation task force

On April 7, 2014, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Citizen task force to explore and recommend enhancements to recreational programming; Applications due April 16


Mayor Curtatone invites residents who have a passion for recreation in Somerville to serve on the newly formed Recreation Task Force. The Task Force will review the current recreation programming available to Somerville residents of all ages and make recommendations on how the city might strengthen its offerings. Members will meet at least monthly for the next eight months starting in late April. Applications are due Wednesday, April 16.

The Task Force will study and discuss programming delivered by the city, such as services carried out by the Recreation Department, the Council on Aging, and the Arts Council, as well as review programming delivered citywide by traditional private providers such as the YMCA and by newer organizations offering everything from circus arts to zumba. With this information as a basis, the Task Force will focus on the recreational needs of people of all ages and backgrounds.

“Somerville has an extraordinary richness and variety of activities available to children and adults. But I want this Task Force to investigate any and all ways that we can ensure we are thinking creatively and effectively about how to meet resident needs,” said Mayor Curtatone. “The Task Force will ask the questions that will lead us to the best services: Do residents know about what’s available? Where are there gaps? Are there ways to increase coordination among existing programs? How can we build on our community’s unique strengths?”

The Task Force will look for innovative models, but also draw on the storied history of recreation in Somerville. “Most of us who grew up in Somerville can recall our neighborhood parks as the center of our universe throughout our childhoods,” said Mayor Curtatone. “While I know that the world has changed and we might not be able to get back to that exact model, I know that Recreation programming can still greatly enrich the lives of Somerville residents young and old, that it can strengthen connections, and that it can help us set and achieve personal goals.”

“The next time you leave the Recreation Building, look up as you walk down the steps,” said Recreational Programming Director George Scarpelli. “You’ll see a very old sign that announces that Somerville Recreation’s principal purpose is ‘the promotion of happiness for all the people of Somerville.’ While the sign may be old fashioned, the goal remains at the core of what we still do today. We’re looking forward to the Task Force’s idea and recommendations for how to achieve it in 2014 and beyond.”

APPLY BY Wednesday, April 16:

To submit your name to be considered for appointment to the Task Force, please complete the short form posted at by Wednesday, April 16. The city will work to assemble a group that represents our diverse community. Task Force meetings will begin in late April and wrap up by the end of 2014.


10 Responses to “Apply for new recreation task force”

  1. sharon says:

    It’s interesting that we need a task force to study every program, every activity, etc. in the city. Do we not have people running the Recreation Department, the Council on Aging, etc. who know what programs should be offered, what programs would be popular, what programs would be successful, etc.?

  2. Matt C says:

    Its about community involvement and CYA. If someone makes a bad decision without community involvement then it will be interpreted as being done on whim and people will demand oversight. By creating citizen task forces there is a shared responsibility, a source for ideas and a a background behind the decision process.

  3. A.Moore says:

    Kinda makes you wonder how all the generations before us ever survived.

  4. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Past generations learned to do without. Our parents and grandparents struggled with very little but they had values we don’t see today. And our politicians who ran for office served for the common good.

    All we see now is freeloading, money grabbers, apathy and self- absorption.

    The majority we see today want to live the life of a celebrityism, maintain elevated status and insulation as royal distinction- by continually stealing from the working class and poor.

    There is so much money being wasted, it could end international hunger and provide free health care. But we live among a blinded, glutinous society who is obsessed with material possessions and power.

  5. marie says:

    Matt C, are you saying that we are paying additional taxes so that a panel can review recreation programming, as an example, for which we already pay a full staff? And you don’t see anything wrong with that? How about a task force to review budget spending, salaries, and pensions?

  6. A.Moore says:

    Big thing with past generations was using common sense. I am beginning to believe it is no longer in the gene pool. We have people starving and homeless in Somerville, yet we keep spending our money on things of lesser importance.

  7. Bambi says:

    I’m usually skeptical of the true independence and ability of these advisory groups to influence decision-making at City Hall, but I’m generally supportive of anything that allows average citizens to engage in the process, ask questions, and provide feedback.

  8. Matt C says:

    Its a volunteer activity to participate on these groups. If you care participate, if not let it happen – but don’t complain when your wants, needs and desires are not met.

    Like I said above – this is “cover your butt” by local gov. so that no one can say you didn’t ask people what they actually want.

    @marie: I believe there were/are a series of community budgeting meetings where residents would have a say in how the money in the town coffers is applied.

    No reason to put on the tin-foil hats. This is not a conspiracy. Y’all need to make a decision and stick to it.
    1. Complain that the city wants your input
    2. Complain that the city doesnt ask for your input

    You can’t have both.

  9. therealdeal says:

    Bambi, you can provide feedback. Give the Recreation Program Director a call and suggest something, or let them know of a program that worked really well, or not well at all. The problem is, everything today has to be done by committee. In this way, rather than creating community, which is allegedly their goal, they are only creating bureaucracy. In the past you let your friend or neighbor or brother in law who worked at Rec know what you thought about their programming. That was community.

  10. Rm says:

    Perhaps we could address that the recreation building is not able to deal with wheelchairs or other accessibility related conditions. “Walk down the steps” if you can. As soon as someone brings that up to the city, meetings get cancelled and no one responds.

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