Madore: Ignore rumors; parks are priority for county

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photoDavid Madore

Let’s put some park fee rumors to rest. Restoring the free use of our parks to improve our quality of life is step one in making our parks a higher, not a lower priority. Doing parks smarter includes keeping our parks open year-round, properly staffing our parks, providing excellent maintenance and empowering volunteers to better complement our staff.

The next time you hear a rumor claiming that our county would be fiscally irresponsible to properly fund our parks, please inform them that they have it exactly backward. Our county staff has worked very hard and succeeded in cutting millions without cutting services by working smarter in every department.

Our staff will share this with our community so we can see how we can responsibly afford to apply a tiny fraction of those savings to properly fund our county parks.

We would like to manage our parks much smarter than we are now by freeing ourselves from an interlocal agreement with the city of Vancouver.

Vancouver manages parks completely different than I think makes sense for our county.

Our county can do parks smarter without a Vancouver parks director paid more than our top county administrator and without an out-of-state consultant costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

We do not need Vancouver’s permission to restore the free use of our county parks. That is step one that we as a county are free to do now. Step two is to discontinue the wasteful, dysfunctional interlocal agreement with the city of Vancouver on Jan. 1, 2014.

That will free our county to manage our own parks smarter by cutting waste to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands annually.

The next time you hear a rumor claiming that our county wants to make county parks a lower priority, please inform them that they have it exactly backward.