Our opinion: Rec office may be one more playground

We are ambivalent about recent announcements that the state will launch an Office of Outdoor Recreation.

On one hand, outdoor recreation is a vital component of our region’s economy, creating jobs and bringing visitors who spend consumer dollars well beyond the businesses that directly serve outdoor recreation.

We believe state resources can play an important role in fostering and promoting this segment of the economy.

But we are not convinced another state office, with, according to a Spotlight PA report, a stated purpose of enabling greater communication between outdoor recreation businesses and the state’s executive branch.

The office, according to Spotlight PA’s report, will have a $422,000 budget. That could fund a lot of grants to help boroughs and townships maintain and develop parks and other recreational facilities — which would more directly aid outdoor recreation in our state.

We also must note that the governor’s office is well-funded, with a number of positions in the field of communications.

Why is further duplication of their role in managing connections between the governor’s office and businesses and other constituents truly necessary?

Pennsylvania’s state government will spend more than $45 billion this year — and that’s without complying with a court decision to replace inequitable funding for public schools. We are skeptical that the creation of the office was the wisest approach.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today