Editorial: Vote yes on King County parks levy
July 31, 2013
By Editorial Board
As it’s had to do since 2002, the King County Parks Department is asking for money to help support parks maintenance and the acquisition of new parkland.
Voters should vote to approve the property tax levy.
The county no longer funds parks from its general fund budget. It still pays for essentials like transportation, public safety, health, law enforcement, courts and sewers. Parks, however, is largely on its own.
About two-thirds of parks money comes from this levy. The proposed levy replaces a pair of expiring levies, and comes with a substantial tax hike. The owner of a $300,000 home will see taxes go from about $40 to $56 per year, a 41 percent increase.
The money is worth it. As the county becomes more and more dense, preserving and maintaining open spaces and recreational activities becomes more important than ever.
The National Recreation and Parks Association contends that parks play a critical role in preserving natural resources for communities.
The county maintains 26,000 acres of parks and more than 175 miles of trails.
This includes Tollgate Farm, Tanner Landing, the Three Forks Natural Area, the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail as well as other Eastside favorites such as the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Marymoor Park and more. The parks system also includes regional gems such as the King County Aquatic Center and Woodland Park Zoo.
Parks are a necessity. Maintaining them is a necessity. Vote yes on Proposition 1.
Dow Constantine for County Executive
County Executive Dow Constantine is facing only token opposition in his race for County Executive — perhaps because most realize that Constantine has done an excellent job and deserves another term.
Constantine took office in the depths of a recession amid falling revenues and an increased need for services. He’s guided the county through those challenging times working with County Council members of different political philosophies, union employees and state officials to soften the blows of the downturn. He has hired top-notch staff and together they have trimmed budgets while maintaining services.
Constantine’s collaborative style has helped keep county government working. Give him your vote in the primary, and again in November.