Former Park Directors Against Park District ProposalPermalink +
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 12:36 pm // Guest writer
Guest writers Byron Elmendorf and Paul Leuthold provide this jointly written article.
During our over 60 years working for City parks departments with over 30 years as the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Director, we have always been supportive of funding proposals for improving parks systems. However, the formation of Chuckanut Community Forest Park District is not a funding option we can support.
Paying off a political loan and promise is not the purpose for establishing a new independent junior taxing district such as the Park District. This forms another layer of government within Bellingham’s Southside neighborhoods. We already have citizen input with a City Parks Board and separate Greenway Committee. Unfortunately they were not involved with the property purchase and loan, or meaningfully consulted on the Park District proposal. The Chuckanut property which the City has acquired at over $8.2 million is the most expensive park land ever purchased. Yes, it is a special piece of property and the neighbors have fought for many years against any proposed housing development. The fact that the City did not have the funds to fully fund the acquisition has resulted in the outstanding $3.2 million 5 year loan from the Greenway Endowment Fund which the community tax payers had already supported.
We think this proposal sets poor public policy in developing special interest districts within our City. The location of community parks based upon the ability of a neighborhood to pay versus need is not a good community goal. The selected Southside precincts have always been supportive of past Park funding proposals. This issue might have a negative impact on future City wide park proposals or waterfront development support.
These are good folks supporting the Park District and they are trying to fix a complicated future problem. They have a concern that the City might sell a portion of this property for future community housing needs to pay the debt. Yet, City regulations would still protect the sensitive areas within the development. An issue against development in their backyard shouldn’t be a reason for such a funding mechanism like this Municipal Park District.
We encourage you to support your existing community-wide park system, not establish a new layer of government, by voting NO on the formation of the Chuckanut Park District.
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 12:36 pm // Guest writerPaul Leuthold and Byron Elmendorf explain why to vote NO on the Chuckanut Park District ballot measure.
19 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 12:26 am // Guest writerGuest post by long time south side resident Marci (Hanson) Haskell on why to vote no on the Park District
5 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013
Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 9:40 am // John ServaisThe Park District is a panic action that over taxes a small group. A city wide solution is by far the better way to proceed.
13 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013
Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 12:09 am // Wendy HarrisThe planning commission no longer serves its purpose due to Council's poor appointment choices
2 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013
Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 5:25 pm // Guest writerBill Geyer explains Transfer Development Rights and how they can be applied to the Chuckanut Ridge.
17 comments; last on Feb 06, 2013
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 1:52 am // Wendy HarrisImproving ecosystem functions holistically is the best form of protection for the Lake Whatcom.
1 comments; last on Jan 29, 2013
Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 8:18 pm // Guest writerPhyllis McKee on why to oppose and the importance of voting no if you are against the Park District.
13 comments; last on Jan 29, 2013
Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 11:49 am // Guest writerDan Remsen speaks to the beauty of the Chuckanut Park and why to vote for the Park District.
6 comments; last on Feb 05, 2013
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 4:09 pm // John ServaisUpdated Sat, Jan 26. A primer on the special Parks District election - and where to find more info.
15 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 9:49 am // Guest writerBy Bill Geyer. South Bellingham citizens vote over the next couple weeks on a self tax to form a park district and pay the Chuckanut Ridge debt.
30 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013
Tue, Jan 22, 2013, 6:19 pm // Wendy HarrisLinks to a few noteworthy GPT scoping comments .
1 comments; last on Jan 23, 2013
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 4:53 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session
1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013
Fri, Jan 11, 2013, 1:35 pm // Wendy HarrisA proposed amendment to the Lake Whatcom watershed moratorium will increase water quality degradation
1 comments; last on Jan 12, 2013
Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 11:23 am // John ServaisA digression from politics. Checking with Green Bay relatives turns up an unexpected hope by fans there.
Sun, Jan 06, 2013, 11:49 pm // Wendy HarrisWatch the Whatcom County Council wiggle its way out of the latest round of GMA compliance requirements for Lake Whatcom
1 comments; last on Jul 27, 2013
Fri, Jan 04, 2013, 11:37 pm // Wendy HarrisCouncil majority willing to spend, and spend, and spend public funds defending development rights
2 comments; last on Jan 05, 2013
Wed, Jan 02, 2013, 11:31 am // John ServaisA needed correction and apology for an error in a story that has been pulled.
3 comments; last on Jan 03, 2013
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