Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sounding Off: Seattle Proposition Two

Here is another local proposition up for approval in this year's election:

This proposition concerns increased property taxes for 6 years for parks purposes. It would provide funding for acquiring, developing and restoring parks, recreation facilities, cultural facilities, green spaces, playfields, trails, community gardens and shoreline areas.

This levy will provide for parks, trails, playgrounds and ball fields for all of Seattle at an average cost of $81.00/year for the typical homeowner, a decrease of about $30 from the current expiring Parks levy.
We must invest in our parks for future generations to enjoy. Parks such as Green Lake, Seward Park, Lincoln Park and the Arboretum.

Parks and Recreation already consumes 8.4% of Seattle's general fund expenditures.
This levy is not for maintaining current parks or protect current wild spaces. Rather this levy is for additional projects-in many cases more pavement than park. If the levy passes, millions will go toward non-park building renovations, replacing sand with lighting and artifical turf at playfields, changing wading parks to spray parks, and extending roads and boulevards.

Again, I am not in the proper voting district to vote for or against this measure and if I were would leave it blank. As I said before, I don't own property and it isn't right for me to affect, one way or another, those who do.
However, in this case, if I did own property and could vote either way, I would probably vote against this one. If the money is already there in the general fund, that is already being used for whatever this levy thinks it is funding, there is no need for an additional fund.


  1. Hey Otter, some inaccuracies to clear up before you decide...

    First, in the for statement, the funds go to parks all over Seattle, not just the iconic parks mentioned (though the Arboretum and Seward Park do have money allocated).

    Second, in the against statement: the building mentioned is the Asian Art Museum and Langston Hughes Cultural Center, which are both Parks and Rec owned buildings. Also there is actually over $4 million in forest and stream restoration, and the majority of funds are for improving existing parks, including making 23 playgrounds up to safety codes. Three of the four playfields in the levy are already lit. And finally roads and boulevards are not a part of this levy at all...there is funding for a few key bike trails like one alone the Duwamish River and completing the Burke-Gilman Trail, however.

    On your comment, the money is NOT in the general fund, and in fact there is a massive backlog of work in Parks and Rec that can't get done because of funding issues. Last year, general maintenance WAS put into Parks' budget, which was a great move, but that doesn't provide for improvements and acquisition - important elements if our city is to keep up with growth.

    Go to the Seattle Parks for All website to find a full list of park projects and learn more about the levy before you (or your Seattle friends) vote. Parks are vital to a vibrant community, especially when times are tough. Vote YES on Prop 2!

  2. Right Todd, in the statements for, I was just giving examples of some of the parks that would be affected. Sorry if I gave the impression that I only meant those parks that I listed.

    Thanks for clearing this up. I thought while I was reading about it that I had read something about these type of projects being funded under the general fund but it was not very clear.

    Again, I'm not even sure if this proposition will be on the ballot in my voting district but I do agree that parks are an important part of the community.