LETTER | Vote Yes on Prop 1 to Build the ARC

As a former member of Finn Hill Park and Recreation District Board of Commissioners and the King County Park Levy Taskforce I have seen many different ways to fund our parks and I have concluded that Proposition 1 is the right thing to do for Kirkland. 

There are all sorts of arguments the opponents of Prop 1 make. The most prevalent is that there are no checks and balances. This simply isn't true. 

Park districts aren't new to Kirkland. For many years O.O. Denny Park on Lake Washington was run by the Finn Hill Park and Recreation District.  

During the existence of the park district O.O. Denny went from a poorly managed facility to the gem that it is today. As elected commissioners we didn't run wild, we knew who we were accountable to, and we knew that if we didn't do our job we were out of office. Our biggest challenge during my service on the board was deciding what to do with the budget surplus we had run for many years before the district closed its doors and the park was turned over to the city. 

There are checks and balances with Prop 1. It's called an election. City council decisions regarding the park district will be scrutinized by the voters for years to come. 

Parks are paid for by an ever shrinking discretionary portion of local government budgets. If Kirkland is to keep the level of service we have become accustomed to at our local parks then we have to come up with unique and different ways to fund them.  

We do not want to become King County and constantly be concerned about the maintenance and upkeep of the ARC. The park district provides the appropriate funding to ensure that it is managed the right way for many years into the future.  

I am for lower taxes, but I'm for smarter government to. Sometimes it makes good sense to prioritize the latter over the former.  

Kirkland residents deserve this facility. Vote yes on Proposition 1.

Mathew Pruitt