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Pair run for position on BI parks board

  • Friday, October 8, 2021 9:28am
  • News

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND METRO

PARKS & RECREATION DISTRICT

POSITION 5

Tom Goodlin

Education, work and political experience that qualifies you for the job?

B.S. Geology, Stanford University; M.S. Geology, University of Arizona

A Licensed Hydrogeologist (State of Washington), I have worked 35 years in environmental consulting as a project manager addressing contaminated groundwater sites. This work requires my engagement with clients, regulators and coworkers to identify practical solutions and gain agreement on resolving difficult and complex problems. As an island resident since 1998, I have actively volunteered in many ways to improve our community. Serving 11 years on the boards of two island nonprofits—Bainbridge Island Land Trust and Bainbridge Aquatic Masters—I have held leadershipa roles, including president, for both organizations. My involvement with each board has required interaction with park district commissioners and staff. This includes two years spent working on behalf of the Land Trust to transfer ownership of the much-loved Hilltop property in the Grand Forest over to the park district.

Top 3-5 concerns

I have listened to concerns of Islanders in identifying these priorities: Increase project transparency early in the process for better public awareness and encourage public review and input; Expand trail connections to improve access to island areas by foot, bike and horseback; Advance important projects in a timely manner; Coordinate needed facility improvements for island sports groups (e.g., soccer, lacrosse, tennis, swimming, water polo) with neighboring stakeholders; Conduct development in a fiscally responsible manner.

New projects and improvements require early outreach so that the public has the opportunity to voice concerns and the Board of Commissioners has time to consider them. Adding trail connections through new easements and property acquisitions, and developing existing parks, provides healthy experiences for islanders. Sensible first steps should be extracted from the larger Sakai Park proposed plan to make easy initial improvements to install trails, picnic shelter and tennis courts.

The park district needs to strategically plan for replacement of aging facilities, such as the intensively used Ray Williamson pool at the Aquatic Center. All-season fields are in limited supply for island sports. Financing projects requires grants and fundraising to reduce bonding, and facilities should incorporate optimal energy and materials efficiency to deliver lower operational costs.

Why vote for you rather than your opponent?

I value our parks as a core element in quality of life on Bainbridge Island and support parkland development and robust programming to increase availability and utilization. By improving park infrastructure, expanding land holding and access, and furthering utilization and recreation opportunities, we will encourage a more active, healthy and engaged community. I aim to continue park system improvements that expand benefits to our island. I approach issues with in-depth learning and listen to all sides before advocating courses of action. I would bring to the park commissioner position a solid understanding of existing park issues, familiarity with park facilities, working relationships with many park district staff and leadership experience gained on other boards.

David Maron

Education, work and political experience that qualifies you for the job?

Most of my adult life has been focused on education and recreation. From my experiences, coaching tennis in Oakland or administering international programs for D.C. Public Schools, I have gained perspective into supporting people, both on personal and on larger institutional levels. My education, which includes a graduate degree in conflict studies, shapes my ability to listen, engage and problem solve with various groups and goals. This background heightened my awareness of our island public discourse, which seems to be missing some of the more positive, supportive, neighborly perspectives I remember from growing up here. I look to be a parks commissioner with the right experiences at the right time for our growing island community.

Top 3-5 concerns why you are running?

1: BIMPRD needs an improved approach to land and facilities management. Parks’ significant expansion in the past decade, due to wise purchases and effective community partnerships, has been a blessing for islanders. However, conflict over bike trails in Grand Forest North and difficulty moving forward on Sakai are examples of ineffective facilities planning. A better approach is critical as parks looks to work closely with COBI and other organizations on an integrated island-wide trail system and delve into a new Aquatic Center. I look to revisit the 2020 Comprehensive Plan and Trails Vision Plan, and consider an updated prioritization of trails and facilities work.

2: Parks has room to grow in communicating openly and collaboratively with the public. BIMPRD has to show greater care in involving constituents in decision processes. Parks has recently begun pivoting in this direction, by openly publishing information on the BIRC acquisition and updating the website with clear directions to board meetings. However, I would urge parks to do more. I would push to rework board subcommittees to better serve ongoing parks efforts with effective public input. I would also like to see a yearly “state of the parks” report to provide islanders with the current realities and projected needs for the parks.

3: Parks is a public institution with a mission to support the natural, cultural and recreational needs of island residents. As a board member, I look to focus strategically on “unmet needs” in considering future BIMPRD work. This has implications for programming and facilities. In the short term, I would like to see parks focus on all ages, from youth to senior, in accessing activities that foster community within and across age groups. The new pickleball courts are an excellent example of parks meeting active recreation needs for various user groups. A couple simple methods to keep the pulse of community unmet needs would be (A) a yearly survey highlighting current usage and future needs for programming/facilities (B) consistent engagement with island partners who offer classes/events through parks.

Why vote for you rather than your opponent?

I better represent a missing demographic in island politics, that of current parents and their children. I also represent a more realistic, inclusive view of the balance between land stewardship and recreational use. My personal and professional skills will engage collaborative thinking and problem solving on future issues.

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