Letter to the Editor: Proposition 1 is an important priority for our growing city

Saturday, October 19, 2019

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my strong support for Shoreline Proposition 1 to fund park improvements and a new community and aquatic center. As a member of the Shoreline Parks Board, I would like to reiterate that the City has conducted an extensive public process to form this ballot measure. These investments are an important priority considering the anticipated population growth in Shoreline.

Proposition 1 would fund much-needed improvements to four parks geographically distributed across Shoreline. These parks are long overdue for upgrades and new equipment. Park improvements would include playgrounds, splash-pads, multi-sports courts, trails, and a fully accessible play area for people of all physical abilities.

The Shoreline Aquatics, Recreation, and Community Center (ShARCC) is not “just a new fancy pool” as I have heard it described. This facility will provide essential health, recreation, and community amenities for all ages in a centralized location.

I am constantly surprised by the question “Why do we need a new pool and recreation center?” The Shoreline Pool was built almost 50 years ago and needs significant maintenance to keep it operational. The Spartan Recreation Center is also an older facility in need of renovations to meet the growing demand for recreation programs and community space.

Both facilities are located on land owned by the Shoreline School District that was recently rezoned for higher density development, increasing property values significantly. The District could decide to redevelop or sell the property where the existing pool and recreation center are currently located, making it even more critical that we act on the proposed ShARCC now.

Please support Shoreline parks, aquatics, and recreation by voting Yes on Proposition 1!

John Hoey
Vice-Chair, Shoreline Parks, Recreation, Cultural Services, and Tree Board


Anonymous,  October 19, 2019 at 7:47 AM  

I'm surprised there hasn't been a high wealth donor stepping up to fund the center and immortalize themselves.

Jeff October 19, 2019 at 9:10 AM  

Calling it "Shoreline Proposition 1 to fund park improvements and a new community and aquatic center" is a blatant example of bait-and-switch. The vast majority of the cost incurred by the proposition goes to the aquatic center, rather than to park improvements.

By way of contrast, even the City's page on the proposition says: "Approval of Proposition 1 will allow the City to construct a new aquatics, recreation, and community center. It will also allow the City to make improvements to four community parks". This wording at least acknowledges that the park funding was tacked on to this proposition at the last minute in order to make it an easier "sell" to the voters.

Parks — all of them, not just the four this proposition stresses — are important, and do need support and funding. The voters have passed a park bond in the past for just this purpose, and I'm sure would pass similar measures in the future. (It should be said that one might expect maintenance costs to be covered by the City's general fund, as well.)

Let's be honest about this proposition. It's quite expensive. If it passes it will increase all of our property taxes by very significant amounts. The majority of this cost goes to a new fancy pool, not to park improvements. A community center without a pool would cost quite a bit less than one with.

We all have to set budgets and make choices. We can't always afford everything we might like to have. Before deciding how you are going to vote on this, please realize how much it will cost you (and the rest of us) and why.

Anonymous,  October 19, 2019 at 4:19 PM  

"Both facilities are located on land owned by the Shoreline School District that was recently rezoned for higher density development, increasing property values significantly."

25% of the neighborhoods in Shoreline were also upzoned. All of us are dealing with higher property taxes, whether renting homes or owning them. And you want to tack on more money? Meanwhile, real estate developers aren't expected to pay their fair share for 12 years. This crackpot tax break scheme is not sustainable long term. Vote no!

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