I agree with The Columbian’s Sept. 23 editorial, “Vote ‘against’ parks proposal,” in opposition to funding of a Vancouver Metropolitan Park District, but for different reasons. The Columbian opposition is built on the struggles in the economy, but my opposition is built on the reality that the parks department has never been a priority, but in this process the city is playing a shell game for additional funds and then they want the Vancouver City Council to be the board for the district.
Setting up a park district with its own funding basis is a good idea. Possibly the two best park programs in the Northwest are Tualatin Hills in Hillsboro, Ore., and Tacoma Metro, but the boards are independent of city hall since city halls have enough problems getting their own work done.
I spent my career as a recreation director for Los Angeles and recreation supervisor for Portland. I believe very much in the value of quality parks and recreation programs to improve the quality of life for the community whether the economy is good or bad, but this scam is not an acceptable proposal. The vote needs to be “no.”