Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes Proposition 1 - Save Shoreline Dog Parks

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To the Editor:

As a Shoreline dog owner who uses the wonderful Shoreline Off-Leash Park, I am very concerned that a lack of funding will jeopardize our great resource. If the City can't raise money as allowed by the passage of Prop 1, it will be forced to start cutting non-essential services. Parks will certainly be on the block, and with them, off-leash areas. Say good-bye to any future off-leash areas and expect drastically reduced funding for existing facilities. See supportshoreline.org for more information.

Ralph Sanders and Winston


Anonymous,  September 21, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

The dog parks were supposed to be self-supporting, they were never supposed to be paid for by the City of Shoreline. ShoreDog assured the City it would be the stewards of the off-leash dog parks if they were established.

If you fear for the future of the dog parks, then I suggest you take that issue up directly with ShoreDog and volunteer to help keep them open.

David,  September 21, 2010 at 7:57 PM  

I use and enjoy the dog park.

But I won't be voting for any additional taxes.

We pay enough already.

Besides, if the levy fails, maybe Shoreline will dump animal enforcement. Then your dog can be off-leash at Hamlin Park (which incidentally, is where the off-leash area should have been located in the first place.)

Anonymous,  September 21, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

Hamlin Park wasn't selected because the parks staff tried to put it in a critical area with no disability access and no public process. Those present for the limited public process made it clear that environmental studies had NOT been done and very poor public input was involved in its selection (evidently the board members of ShoreDog and the staff visited various sites and picked Hamlin - ask Shari Winstead, she was one of the officers of Shoredog at the time). But no one bothered to tell the neighborhood or even thought about a SEPA checklist.

Because of the bumbling on the part of the parks department back in October 2006, the off-leash dog parks selection process was pushed back into June 2007. There were a bunch of sites on the east side of Shoreline that were never heard from again, like the Seattle Public Utilities site on the NW corner of Hamlin, Aldercrest Annex (which disappeared as an option when the city manager's office alienated the school district by designating it as a potential jail site), a site by the Metro bus barn, etc.

The parks bond allocated $150,000 to siting an off-leash dog park and the public has NEVER received an accounting for how much has been spent on the two existing dog parks (and they are "pilot" sites, meaning they are not permanent) and the abortive effort at Hamlin.

But the way Dick Deal plays games, if you want to find out how the parks department has spent your money as a taxpayer, you have to complete a public records request and pay by the page to find out.

If that is how they want to play games, bumbling and fumbling through the off-leash dog park siting, being less than open about the public process, alienating potential partners like the school district, and than making you pay to find out how much money has been spent, THEN VOTE NO TO MORE TAXES.

Anonymous,  October 3, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

Yesterday, I had an unpleasant run-in with a group of 5 adults and six dogs who showed up in 3 cars in a neighborhood park. This park is NOT and off-leash park and I told them so. They said, "Well, we'll leave if you really want us to, because we do know what the law says, but Shoreline doesn't have very many good places to go for off leash."

I was incredulous, because we now have TWO Off-leash Parks, which were demanded by the "Shoredog OLA" group. I told these folks this and walked away.

As usual, the people with big dogs get their way, since I would have been the "bad guy" if I told them, "yes I want you to leave".

So it is clear that the OLA/Shoredog group will never be happy until every park is an "Off Leash Park" and they get to dominate every situation with their huge number of canines.

The Off Leash people already control have two of the most expensive and spectacular pieces of real estate in town. One is at the beach, the most environmentally critical area in our city. The other is a huge wooded area next to Shoreline Community College.

These people who insist on invading every park in huge numbers with their dogs off leash are incredibly selfish.

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