The Pros and Cons of Prop 1 and the ARC; Ralph and Gladys

Gladys,
 
Its been far too long since I’ve written to you. You will find that I have mellowed in my old age and I’ve decided to be less prickly.
 
Proposition 1 is a waste of money and the ARC is sinking fast. It is time to abandon ship, women and children first!

This sounds like the fox guarding the hen house and in my day, we had a name for such shenanigans, a boondoggle!

I have to tell you how outraged I am — outraged, I tell you — with Proposition 1 which asks for a blank check made out to the Kirkland City Council! That’s our hard earned money they want to take!
 
I have seen a lot in my day, but I cannot recall seeing such an unbelievable and totalitarian proposal such as Proposition 1. The City Council proposes that the voters establish a Metropolitan Park District (MPD) and appoint themselves as the governing board of the District. This sounds like the fox guarding the hen house and in my day, we had a name for such shenanigans, a boondoggle!
 
The City wants to build a Swimming Taj Mahal, called the Aquatics Recreation Community Center (ARC), for who knows how much money, or where it will be located or when it will be built? The council, acting as the MPD board, would be given unilateral authority to raise taxes without the approval of the voters of the city of Kirkland. The MPD can only be dissolved through a majority vote of the same council that established this atrocity. I admit I am spoiled by living in the greatest democracy man has ever created but Proposition 1 turns democracy on its head by granting a governing body such unconstrained authority. This is America, for Pete’s sake.

Everybody knows Advisory Councils are stacked with cronies and then their advice is ignored.

To throw salt on the wound, Proposition 1 would grant the MPD taxing authority for three times more money than they need to build the ARC. Unlike you and me, those taxes will never sunset. In fact, in 100 years, after the ARC is no more than a pile of dust, the citizens of Kirkland will still be paying for it!
 
The city puts out misleading information such as that Proposition 1 establishes a Citizens Advisory Council on future park projects. Poppycock, I say! That proposal for a Citizen Advisory Council is not worth the paper it is written on. Everybody knows Advisory Councils are stacked with cronies and then their advice is ignored.
 
The insiders know that details like the difference between bonds and MPDs and ARCs are only interesting to members of the AARP. Young voters have no time to learn about such things. They just want a pool. And that is exactly what the insiders are counting on. You see, to pass a bond would require a 60% voter approval but to pass an MPD, there need only be a 50% approval. Tricky, eh? You bet. So the insiders went for broke. And soon you and I will be broke if Proposition 1 passes. I hope you come to your senses and see that Proposition 1 is less about building a pool for kids and more about finding a new revenue stream for City Hall.
 
Ralph



Oh my. You haven’t changed a bit, have you, Ralph? Still the ol’ stick in the mud curmudgeon complaining about everything, saying the sky is falling like you’re Chicken Little. Didn’t you ever swim when you were a kid? Can you remember that long ago? Some of my fondest memories are of swimming in the slew on hot afternoons and skipping stones with the Anderson boys. Kids need a place to swim today or they’ll get themselves into trouble. Proposition 1 to build the ARC will give them a place to have fun and play all year long, and stay out of trouble. Competition swimming, activity rooms, kids pools and meeting spaces for our whole city to enjoy. Wont that be nice?

This blank check nonsense is a red herring if you ask me. If Proposition 1 passes, Kirklanders will have decided to invest in the future of our parks.

The more you babble on, Ralph, the more you sound like one of those conspiracy guys. You and your accusations of unilateral authority and atrocity. Did you borrow those terms from one of your old Mickey Spillane novels? 

And another thing… This blank check nonsense is a red herring if you ask me. If Proposition 1 passes, Kirklanders will have decided to invest in the future of our parks. We are saying we trust our council and they don’t need to bother us every time a good investment comes along. Plain as the day is long. Everyone likes parks — even you, Ralph, so there! 

You also complain about Citizen Advisory Councils. What’s not to like about your fellow citizens? Don’t you trust them? If you don’t like ‘em, join ‘em I say. Join the Advisory Councils and make them run the way you like them. Otherwise, zip it. Don’t sit there in your barcalounger complaining about how the world has gone to pot.

How do you like my feisty side?

Your complaints about funding and your MPD board gobbledygook is just a bunch of scare tactics old men like you use to frighten everybody else around you. Save it for Halloween. The MPD is a prudent way to fund a program such ARC without spending more than necessary. That is responsible governance and you should like that, Ralph.

You need to be more community-minded and stop with the “I’ve got mine, now you fend for yourself” attitude.

The current Peter Kirk pool is really only open three months out of the year. There is no way we can teach the children of Kirkland to swim at that place. You know, the days are numbered for that pool at Juanita High School and when it closes, we need a replacement pool ready for our youth. Of course, you aren’t one to invest in anyone other than yourself, Ralph. You need to be more community-minded and stop with the “I’ve got mine, now you fend for yourself” attitude.

Wont you join me in looking to the future by giving our grandkids a facility worthy of this great city?

We are all in this together, you know. Besides, its for the children!

Kindest regards,

Gladys