For Kirkland -- Supports Streets & Parks Levies

Dear Editor,

For Kirkland Supports - Dedicated Funding to Take Care of Our City

In November, residents of Kirkland will be asked to approve two levies.  Proposition #1 provides for streets maintenance, safe school walk routes, and neighborhood safety improvements.  Proposition #2 provides for parks maintenance, lifeguards and water safety, and renovation and improvement projects.  For Kirkland supports both measures.

Proposition #1, the street maintenance and pedestrian safety levy, will raise an estimated $3.0 million annually to be used for street preservation, pedestrian improvements and neighborhood safety measures including safe-walk routes to schools throughout the City.  Kirkland staff and the Council have worked on this for over two years looking for economies, efficiencies and additional funding.  Engineers have made scores of presentations across the City demonstrating our current situation, the consequences of deferring action, and the long-term cost. Inaction, now, means much greater costs later.  So, our choice is progress or potholes.

Proposition #2, the parks maintenance, restoration, and enhancement levy, will raise $2.35 million annually in dedicated funding to restore parks maintenance, provide lifeguards at Houghton, Waverly, and Juanita beaches, and continue forest and habitat restoration and stewardship through the Green Kirkland volunteer program.  It will also take over maintenance of O.O. Denny Park from the Finn Hill Parks District, which residents of Finn Hill have been taxing themselves to cover, and expires in 2013.  The parks levy will fund capital renovation and improvement projects including dock and shoreline improvements for waterfront parks, renovation of Waverly Beach Park, and replacement of the Juanita Beach boathouse.  The levy funds development of the Cross Kirkland Corridor, removing rails and providing an interim trail while the Kirkland determines its long-term vision and plans for the corridor.  The parks levy includes important accountability measures.  Proposition #2 funds are dedicated to parks and future projects will be determined by citizens—members of the Kirkland Parks Board.  And the City Council and the public will get an annual report on how money from the levy is spent.

During harsh budget cuts with the economic downturn, the City Council appropriately prioritized public safety.  Maintenance was scaled back, restrooms were closed, garbage cans were removed from parks, and beach lifeguards and programs like Green Kirkland were only continued through one-time funding sources.  As the economy has begun to recover, the city has partially restored services and service levels, but it’s time to have a sustainable solution.

The combination of both levies will cost approximately $120 for the median homeowner in Kirkland, less than $10 per month.  Passage of both measures is important to our quality of life, taking care of our city, and meeting needs now in the future.

For Kirkland encourages you to vote yes on both Proposition #1 and Proposition #2.


Dan Krehbiel, For Kirkland President