Dear Commissioner,

This email is simply about money. Saving money, creating more money, and ensuring that the County receives a sustainable stream of money for the long-term goals of the Region. What sort of investment does all of this? It is parks – especially urban parks. The vote tonight regarding the Romare Bearden Park is simply about money. A small investment in Romare Bearden Park is guaranteed to ensure a great return to the county coffers. You may recall that the Board of County Commissioner’s was presented with the true value of parks this past winter that outlined the public monetary benefit and revenue generation of the return of park investments. Parks are not a cost, they are an asset that can continually returns more than their investment.

Imagine the return of converting an old parking lot and abandoned buildings into a place of beauty and prominence in Uptown. Imagine the people’s lives that the park will touch when they come downtown to recreate, shop or attend a football, and hopefully baseball, game. Now imagine the park that will spur residential and commercial development in the Third Ward. Development that will infill several open and vacant lots. Now imagine the tax revenues from that development, and the increase in tax revenues from increased property valuation from existing residential and commercial properties in the Third Ward. Keep in mind the valuation multiplier of that increased revenue is from vertical development, instead of less revenue-dense horizontal development. That is real money that the Board of County Commissioners may use to decrease budget shortfalls, and achieve future plans.

Not only does greater support of parks increase the tax base, but it saves money in other areas of government such as expenditures for public health. Parks, such as Romare Bearden, address the issues of childhood obesity, education, and social ills such as the No Child Left Inside movement. Parks directly and positively influence the quality of life for the Region which is one of the top deciding factors that companies weigh when they relocate – especially when they relocate to an urban environment such as Uptown Charlotte.

A vote for Romare Bearden ensures that companies will continue to relocate to Charlotte, that the tax revenue base is broadened, and a place that all of Mecklenburger’s and Charlottean’s can be proud of as this park punctuates the life of one of Charlotte’s most famous figures.


Steadman Sugg
Vice President, Partners for Parks