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Letter: Kirkland Parks Levy an Example of Citizens Working Together

Jay Arnold, co-chair of Yes! for Great Kirkland Parks, makes a final plea for approval of Proposition 2 in Tuesday's general election.

 

Dear Editor,

Kirkland is fortunate to have its great system of parks, thanks to the vision of previous generations.  Waterfront parks, neighborhood parks, and beaches all contribute to our quality of life.  Most residences in Kirkland have a park within walking distance.  When my daughters often walk to the park just up the street from our house, they say “we’re going to our park.”  It’s actually called Reservoir Park. (I had to look it I up.) 

But how do we take care of our parks?  As the City Council has prioritized public safety during the economic downturn—a difficult, but appropriate decision, parks have taken the brunt of the impact.  Maintenance has been cut 20%, and renovations and improvement cut by 38%.  A broad group of Kirkland citizens, representing neighborhood, business, education, sports and civic interests met for six months to study the problem and future needs for parks.  We came up with the parks levy as the way to protect our parks.

Proposition 2 provides for ongoing funding of maintenance, permanent funding for lifeguards, and sustainable funding for the Green Kirkland restoration program. It provides pay-as-you-go funding for renovations and improvements.  It establishes an opportunity fund for acquiring parkland in areas that don’t have “their” park.  Money can only be spent on parks, and will be reviewed by citizens annually.

Proposition 2 is a great example of citizens working together, building consensus, and finding a solution to preserve our parks now and in the future.  Folks from across our community have come together in support of the parks levy as well.  It has the support from all seven members of the city council, former mayors and councilmembers, the Lake Washington School Board, the Finn Hill Park & Recreation District, and other community leaders.

I hope you will vote Yes on Proposition 2 for our parks.

-Jay Arnold 
Co-Chair, YES! For Great Kirkland Parks 
www.YesForGreatKirklandParks.org

Robert L. Style November 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM
The city already has ongoing funds for roads and parks. Getting those funds into the hands of the Parks Department and Public Works is the issue. If the Council saw fit, they would have funded roads and parks. Funding Props 1 and 2 cost less than one percent of the budget. There would be no need for more taxes. The Council has failed to meet the needs of the City and there are no reasons to believe that our taxes will be lower if Props 1 & 2 pass. The propositions frees up more than $5 million. What could have been spent on roads and parks didn't happen. Yes, Prop money will be used to balance the budget; however, the budget could have been balanced without tax increases. If the Props pass, the Council will have the ability to use the money that should have gone for parks and roads for something other than parks and roads. To think the Council would do differently is a farce.

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