Observers of Olympia City Council affairs were treated to a spectacle of pique and fear-mongering on July 7 during discussions of the proposed Metropolitan Parks District ballot measure to create a dedicated revenue stream for parks funding.
After months and months of intense work in the Finance Committee, superbly chaired by Jim Cooper, and many community meetings, surveys and discussions, some council members chose to dismiss the effort as not-perfect, not-yet, not-ever? They did not offer to work with the other council members to address concerns but chose to subject the achievement to withering criticism and to trip up the ordinance process with delay and obstruction.
There are three modes of governing. Their actions exemplified the scarcity approach: that there will never be enough funding, creativity or citizen involvement, so we should discourage all attempts to marshal these resources to solve problems. It is based on fear. The other two modes might be termed sufficiency and abundance: that enough resources will be found, that enough goodwill, energy and solutions can be brought to the table.
Olympia’s civic table fairly groans with good ideas, an active and aware citizenry and willingness to pitch in. The MPD is a good solution for assured parks funding, a critical and much desired building block for our city. Let’s support it and the tremendous work of the majority of our City Council, and trust ourselves to create the community we envision.