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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 8, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Seattle parks levy

Parks for next generation

I strongly support Seattle Parks For All Proposition 2, and this is why: I watched as the grass-roots committee developed a comprehensive package of park projects that provides a rare opportunity to invest in a parks legacy for generations to come [“Yes on market upgrade; No on parks levy,” editorial, Oct. 7].

This comes at a unique point in our history. Seattle’s density is increasing at an all-time rate, and vacant land is virtually disappearing. At the same time, Seattle’s parks are increasingly heavily used.

With Proposition 2, we have the opportunity to address these needs with a package that will benefit every citizen in the city.

Every area will receive new neighborhood parks, and missing links will be completed in our open-space and trail systems. Proposition 2 will also provide new recreational opportunities for our citizens and improve our citywide treasures, such as the Arboretum, Discovery Park and Jefferson Park.

Our citizens faced a similar decision almost 100 years ago, when Seattle was still virtually covered with trees. With incredible foresight, our community invested in implementation of a citywide Olmsted Plan and set aside hundreds of acres of land to form the backbone of our park system.

With Proposition 2, we can leave a legacy for the next 100 years.

— Karen Daubert, campaign co-chair of Seattle Parks For All, Seattle

Pass levy for community

Financial times may be tough, and many (including your newspaper) don’t seem to believe that renewing a parks levy now is the right thing to do.

As a new homeowner with a tight budget, I understand this. But I support Proposition 2 because public parks are precisely the type of civic infrastructure that we need most when we are pinching pennies. Public parks provide the quality of life that I searched for when choosing to live in Seattle, and a continued investment will ensure world-class parks long into the future.

Not everyone can escape to the mountains or ocean on the weekends, but everyone can enjoy our public parks, the open green spaces, beaches, various trails, playing fields and playgrounds.

This proposition will cost the average homeowner $81 per year to continue investing in the parks that so many enjoy. That’s less than the current parks levy, and is an investment well worth making.

Furthermore, the projects in the levy are spread throughout Seattle’s neighborhoods, providing a place for all to gather. This levy is about what sort of community we create for every citizen in Seattle and for the future.

I hope others will join me in voting “yes” on Proposition 2 to ensure the communal health of our city.

— Tricia Vander Leest, Seattle

Parks a wise investment

The Seattle Parks and Green Space Levy is being supported by my neighbors because it is a wise investment.

By supporting the parks levy, voters can enhance the lives of people of all ages, economic and cultural backgrounds right now — and also leave a legacy for future generations. The parks levy was put together by a group of dedicated volunteers who value community, the local economy and the environment.

Please join this group by voting “yes” for parks.

— Cheryl dos Remedios, Seattle

Levy wasn’t created in haste

As chair of the Citizen Advisory Committee that prepared the Parks and Green Spaces Levy package Seattle residents will vote on this fall, I tend to disagree with the Times editorial that it “feels hastily put together.”

The diverse projects chosen for the $146 million parks levy were selected from existing neighborhood and other city plans based on years of grass-roots input and citizen efforts. The committee identified the highest-priority, most feasible projects that provided green space in Seattle’s most underserved neighborhoods. See them all at www.seattleparksforall.org.

Our city must keep our open-space investments at pace with the growth in population and density if we are to maintain the quality of life that attracts business and keeps our communities safe and enjoyable. Now is not the time to turn our backs on green space, especially in the neighborhoods that need it most.

Quality public parks are even more important in tough economic times. For less than a quarter a day for the average homeowner, we can ensure that our entire community has free access to recreational open space. Vote “yes” on Proposition 2 this fall and continue smart investments in our public parks and green spaces.

— Beth Purcell, chair of Citizen Advisory Committee on Parks and Green Spaces Levy, Seattle

Comments | More in Election, Seattle, Seattle City Council

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