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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Seattle Prop. 1: District would create unbridled board without accountability

I would like to voice my opinion on the proposed Seattle Park District [“Seattle’s Proposition 1 is not the last resort for parks,” Opinion, July 22]. In my opinion, this is a very bad idea that the voters should reject.

I support and use Seattle parks, and I agree that they need help and money, but this is not the way. There are two primary reasons that I object to the measure:

The first, and most important, is that unlike Tacoma’s board, Seattle’s district board members would not be directly elected by the voters nor do they have to be re-elected. They are appointed by the City Council and can only be removed by the council, so it is basically a lifetime position. This removes any control that the voters have over the board.

The second reason is the board’s ability to impose increases to the property tax without any input from the voters. While the current law limits them to 75 cents per $1000, without any requirement to go to the voters for approval what is to stop them increasing that limit? The concept of a permanent funding source for parks is a good idea, but this plan is not the way to do it and the voters should reject it.

Tom Kesterson, Seattle

Comments | More in Parks | Topics: parks, Seattle City Council, Seattle Park District

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