Letters to the Editor

Bainbridge Island Review Letters to the Editor | Oct. 15

Parks

We already have enough

The Park Board and director need to be applauded for their diligent work. However, we have a philosophical difference. We would be willing to support the 25 percent going to M & O, but the 75 percent going to more open space and further development is what we oppose.

There are at least four solid reasons to vote NO on this ballot proposal:

1. We already have enough open space. Our research indicates that Bainbridge has more than twice the national average of park acres and open space per 1,000 residents.

2. We have an ethical issue with forcing our neighbors to pay for government nonessentials. Further expansion, at taxpayer expense, is a subjective quality of life issue that we believe is not warranted.

3. For those who need more open space, residents can give voluntarily to the Bainbridge Land Trust.

4. If we have to be taxed even more, our priority is for education. It is going to be expensive for our school district to update our aging facilities.

Over the next several years our income taxes and sales taxes are probably going up. We need to prioritize our most pressing needs and be more sensitive to those already struggling to afford to live on Bainbridge. Now is not the time to be proposing this government nonessential. Join us in voting NO.

Tom and Barb Hemphill

Pleasant Beach

l% cap not for budget

After reading the Oct. 8 editorial in the Review regarding the upcoming vote on the Metro Park District’s levy lid-lift proposal, I felt compelled to challenge some of the information contained in the editorial.

The statement that the district’s budget cannot grow by more than 1 percent each year is simply not true. The 1 percent cap that is noted only refers to the limit set by Initiative 747 restricting the annual growth of property taxes levied on existing properties by the various taxing jurisdictions.

This also allows these public entities to collect property taxes which are levied on new construction – houses, commercial buildings, etc. This latter provision changes the financial picture in a significant way.

Data derived from the Kitsap County Assessor’s records show that the property taxes levied by the park district for its normal operations for the year 2006 increased by 38.7 percent over the amount for 2005, primarily due to the increase in the levy limit for the the park district. In 2007, the increase was 4 percent and this year it is 4.2 percent.

It is interesting to note that the headline for the editorial is: “Key to park lid-lift? Trust”. Obviously, there has to be trust between the voters and the park district board if the proposal is to pass. However, the Review also must endeavor to develop a trusting relationship with its readers by providing factual and timely information, especially when there is an upcoming election. The Review and the editor certainly missed the boat with this editorial.

Vince Mattson

Green Spot Place

Make our parks better

Pritchard Park is an opportunity waiting to happen: it is the gateway to Bainbridge Island, a wonderful place with forested hillside, a long stretch of beach and fabulous views of the Olympics and Cascades Mountains, Winslow and Eagle Harbor!

The 50 acres have been purchased for the public, the beach has been cleaned and restored, the first phase of the Japanese-American Internment Memorial constructed, and intrepid volunteers have cleared trails, and pulled truckloads of ivy.

But the park sits somewhat forlornly. There is no access to tits eastern edge, few garbage cans and no restroom facility for visitors.

Hundreds of islanders participated in the planning process to recommend what this park should look like. We were co-chairs for the Design Advisory Committee and encourage you to visit the district website to see the recommendations based on the public input process.

But so far there is no funding for this plan. Please vote yes on the Park District’s levy lid-lift on the Nov. 4 ballot, so that Pritchard Park may shine, as it should, as an island treasure.

Barb Trafton,

Charles Schmid

Bainbridge Island

One Call For All

Preschool is thankful

I would like to thank everyone who has donated to our school, Island Cooperative Preschool (formerly known as Island Cooperative Learning Center) through One Call for All. Our school has been serving island families since 1971. Through our program of classes for children ages 1 year through 5 years, and through our parent education program we have touched the lives of hundreds of island families.

One Call for All functions in a similar fashion to our cooperative preschool by having everyone pull together to make big things happen. Each person’s contribution, no matter how small, grows into something amazing when it becomes a part of the total contributions of our community.

Your contributions to Island Co-op Preschool go to our scholarship program and to parenting programs open to the island community. Thank you for thinking of us as you make your donation to One Call for All.

Ellen Carleson

Island Cooperative Preschool

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