To the editor:
I am writing to ask readers to seriously consider supporting Kirk Robinson for park district commissioner.
When I asked him several years ago which of the park trails were accessible (because friends had told me that Battle Park was the only place I could use my wheelchair), he admitted he didn’t know and suggested that we try some of them. I appreciated this response, because too often, people with little knowledge of wheelchairs are confident they know where wheelchairs can and can’t go, and they’re usually wrong.
We tried part of the Grand Forest, and discovered that, contrary to what he would have guessed, tree roots were the biggest obstacles. I also realized, as I gazed up at the towering cedars, how much I had missed being in the woods, and as I related the experience to friends, one of them asked if she and her husband could come along on the next wheelchair hike. That was the beginning of the wheelchair hiking group, which has gotten quite a few island wheelchair users out on Bainbridge Island’s trails. Kirk hikes the trails daily, looking for issues that need to be addressed, and usually hikes the trail we’re planning to use earlier in the day to be sure no new obstacles have presented themselves.
One of the significant obstacles that we have faced is off-leash dogs that distract and endanger service dogs. These dogs rarely obey their owners commands, and it doesn’t help if they’re friendly; they still cause problems for service dogs. I thus prefer a candidate who encourages park users to obey to existing leash regulations, rather than one who has publicly admitted that he ignores them.
In addition, Kirk brings with him the experience of working for the EPA in administrative positions for more than 30 years, as well as the knowledge gained in earning an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Kirk has served the park district well, and, with your support, will continue to do so.