There is no doubt that the people who live in Olympia love parks. Most surveys support this claim, and all elected officials say they support parks as well.
However, it has been a historic challenge to demonstrate this support of parks when the city of Olympia has often diverted funding from parks for other uses. Unfulfilled promises from past political campaigns and councils have led to another park tax proposal on this year’s ballot.
Unfortunately, under the state law which allows a metropolitan tax district to be formed, the Olympia City Council chose the weakest of the three organizing options allowed by statute. It is the weakest, because it provides no guarantees that the money will stay in parks. None.
The city doesn’t need another unprotected slush fund. Vote no to the metro park tax proposal and encourage the City Council to try again. If a metro park district must be formed, it should be done correctly and in a manner that actually protects Olympia’s parks.
In light of the council’s past failures to honor its promises - it would be more honest to create an independent parks district with an independently elected board solely responsible for parks. This way, the parks money will be protected and children will actually get the parks and safe playgrounds they deserve.