Letters to the Editor

Op-ed by Prop. 1 foes made misleading claims

Karen Rogers’ op-ed piece against Proposition 1 contains false and misleading information. 

The truth is that Olympia has acted within its legal bounds for tax-funded park expenditures for 1994, 1997 and 2004. Nearly 58 percent of the 2004 parks tax has been used for parkland acquisition and 42 percent for parks development, operation, and maintenance – mostly for Percival Landing, which is a city park, not a "diversion."

The city’s 177-page 2010 Parks Plan and the 2016 update include a business plan specifying revenue and spending priorities. The Metropolitan Park District is the tool to make these plans happen.

Extraordinary guarantees are in place. The district will operate under state laws, which require funds to be used only for parks. Prop. 1 includes an ordinance stating exact funding levels and creates a citizen watchdog committee.

Having the Olympia council members serve as the district board saves money. A separate board requires extra salaries and administrative costs. Other districts have council members serve as district boards. Tacoma can afford a separate board because its park operating budget is almost eight times larger.

The claim that LBA woods and Kaiser Heights parcels are considered "stormwater parks" by backers of Prop 1 is completely false. The acquisition of these parcels supports the City’s goal for natural open-space parkland.

If Olympia wants to be part of a regional district, that will happen because of a successful Olympia Metropolitan Park District, not instead of it. Visit yesolympiaparks.org for the facts. Please vote Yes on Prop 1.

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