An Opinion Page message about Prop 1 submitted on October 7 and signed by Mayor Walen and Councilmember Nixon states: “A bond measure would require that the city own the property for the ARC…”.
According to information provided by the City, Kirkland acquired new park land and added or improved park buildings and facilities with bonds issued in 1977, 1984, 1989, 1990, and 2003. All have been retired except for the 2003 bond, which will be retired in 2022.
Every one of these parks bonds included buying new park land. Sometimes the land was under an option for purchase or other contract when the park bond was put to vote. Sometimes the bond provided an opportunity fund for land acquisition in targeted areas. The claim made in the letter that the City must buy new land before a bond vote for an aquatic center is unsupported by the facts.
Bonds are a proven, conservative, prudent, and safe way for the City to buy land and finance large projects.
Prop 1 seeks to create a new taxing district and tax system that would last forever. It would give the City Council a blank check for acquisition and development of an aquatic and recreation center with no restrictions on the location, size, or cost of the ARC. It would also give the City Council the power to levy taxes for any other parks projects without voter approval.
Vote “Against” Prop 1 to tell the City Council to use a bond to build an aquatic center and to preserve your right to decide on parks projects and property taxes.