As voters, we are looking at a new taxing district to save the Parks and Recreation department and prevent layoffs at the Firstenburg Center, as reported in the Feb. 9 story, “New Taxing District? Vancouver eyes parks levy.”
When Firstenburg was built, did government care about the financial backlash affecting the Princeton Athletic Club, Landover, Health Experience, Bally’s and Oxford? Great clubs suffered, entrepreneurs lost their own investments to this well-funded public project, which is now suffering, except we are being asked to save it.
As a former president of Columbia River Miracle League, I know we paid $40,000 for permits to build our field on a stalled project, while years later, $5 million was committed to the county’s Luke Jensen Sports Complex.
Harmony Sports Complex wholeheartedly supported the Metropolitan Parks District that barely passed in 2005. Harmony has served more than 2,000 taxpaying families per year since 1981 and has an abominable parking lot. The complex was outside the city limits and inside the urban growth boundary, so no money for them. In fact, this parks district has fallen short of building all the 35 parks it promised.
The parks department has over-promised and now the city of Vancouver is considering asking you to pay the price through new taxation.