Letters to the Editor

Parks tax critic left out the part on accountability

A recent letter writer stated that he was voting against Proposition 1, which will raise funds for Olympia parks maintenance and acquisitions, because City Council member Jim Cooper said there is no way to guarantee the actions of future councils. The writer left out the part of Cooper’s presentation that detailed steps taken to assure that funds will be used as intended.

Cooper was telling the simple truth that although one council cannot absolutely bind the decisions of a future council, Proposition 1 comes with two important safeguards: an ordinance that requires the city to maintain its current level of support for parks in the budget, and the establishment of a citizens committee to annually audit the proper use of the funds. In addition, the most powerful guarantee in a democracy is the ability of the voters to hold elected officials accountable.

Olympia’s population is growing and becoming more dense. We need to act now to preserve and expand our parks while we still can. We need to remove long vacant buildings on the isthmus and replace them with a Capitol Vista Park. We need to take proper care of Percival Landing. We need to protect LBA woods and acquire Keiser Heights. The city has purchase agreements in place for these two sites.

If we want to accomplish these and other goals, we must generate the funds required. This is why I will vote for Proposition 1. Please visit yesolympiaparks.org for additional information.