Letter: Parks Levy is an Investment in Tradition That Makes Kirkland Unique

Former Kirkland City Councilman Santos Contreras says citizens can do no less than those who had the vision to create such an exceptional parks system.


To the Editor:

I have been a Kirkland resident since 1974. Our city has grown dramatically during that time but remains a great place to live because Kirkland residents had the vision to create an exceptional network of parks. In 1984 Nona Ganz and I co-chaired a Parks proposition. The citizens voted to purchase Juanita Bay Park and the Waverly property which is now Heritage Park. If our citizens hadn’t stepped up, those magnificent parks were slated to be sold to developers and we today would be looking at a bunch of condos. Time and again we have voted to acquire and improve parks on the lakeshore and throughout our community. As a result, we enjoy tremendous amenities: places to swim, to play, to hike, to picnic. Our park system is now the envy of other Puget Sound communities. Not only do they create a vibrant community and improve our quality of life, they also enhance our property values.

Over the past few years, Kirkland finances have taken a big hit and city officials have had to cut back on park maintenance and improvements. Prop. 2 is a citizen inspired and led initiative that will reverse this decline. The Proposition will provide a steady source of revenue that is dedicated to acquiring parks and keeping the ones that we do have clean, safe and attractive.

For those of us on fixed incomes, I quote my mother who died at age 92: “ I support Seattle levies even though my kids are raised, because people before me voted to support parks and schools when my kids were young. I can do no less.”

Prop. 2 is good for Kirkland because it is an investment in what makes our city unique. This is our chance to once again protect the legacy of parks and open spaces left by the people before us. Let’s continue the great tradition of support to our park system. Let’s make sure that as we continue to grow, and we will, we hand over the same wonderful, livable community to the generations that follow.

-Santos Contreras, Kirkland


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