Kirkland is fortunate to have its great system of parks, thanks to the vision of previous generations. Waterfront parks, neighborhood parks, and beaches all contribute to our quality of life. When my daughters often walk to the park just up the street from our house, they say “we’re going to our park.” It’s actually called Reservoir Park. (I had to look it up.) Most residences in Kirkland have a park within walking distance—their park.
But how do we take care of our parks? As the City Council has prioritized public safety during the economic downturn—a difficult, but appropriate decision, parks have taken the brunt of the impact. Maintenance has been cut 20%, and renovations and improvement cut by 38%. A broad group of Kirkland citizens, representing neighborhood, business, education, sports and civic interests met for six months to study the problem and future needs for parks. We came up with the parks levy as the way to protect our parks.
Proposition 2 provides for ongoing funding of maintenance, permanent funding for lifeguards, and sustainable funding for the Green Kirkland restoration program. It provides pay-as-you-go funding for renovations and improvements. It establishes an opportunity fund for acquiring parkland in areas that don’t have “their” park. Money can only be spent on parks, and will be reviewed by citizens annually.
Proposition 2 is a great example of citizens working together, building consensus, and finding a solution to preserve our parks now and in the future.
I hope you will vote Yes on Proposition 2 for our parks.
Jay Arnold Co-Chair, YES! For Great Kirkland Parks