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Down with Parks

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Nah, down with anti-parks government.
I really don't know who votes for these people who keep getting into office. Although I still dispute GWB's 'victory', but I digress.

I don't know how hard your areas are being hit economically in this recession. But here in Seattle, between the dot-com failures, Boeing mostly leaving, and 9/11, the economy here is tanking.

It's pretty hard to find a job (second only to Oregon) and they are raising tuition by 17% to 100% (that's not a typo) this year at the U. Yes, this year, not gradually.

But it made me cry when I found out they are closing ALL of our parks and pools. Most of them are already shut down. All will be by the end of the year. Most of the schools here don't have playgrounds but are built in parks.

That means no more watering, no more mowing, no more weeding, no more tree trimming, no more bathrooms, no more water fountains, no more painting any vandalisms, no more cleaning up, no more maintenance of playground equipment or sports fields, no more lighting.

First off, I am just appalled they could even imagine doing this. It's county-wide, affecting millions of people. And yet the governor hired an old friend as a budget consultant for over $80 an hour. I see where their priorities are.

What are children going to do this summer? Or even during the school year? Where will they have recess? Where will they take swim lessons? Where will teams play recreational leagues?

I live in a suburban area. A good portion of the county funding comes from us. Property taxes here are very high (Bill Gates lives here, he alone pays enough to pay for at least one park, right?), and we pay those taxes to live in good neighborhoods with some of the best parks in the nation. So now we are just going to have giant weed-infested dead grass lots in the middle of our neighborhoods? I have a little park across the street that serves two schools. My property values would plummet if that continued. The new goal would be to NOT live by a park.

I think this is just about one of the saddest local government decisions ever. I didn't agree when they invited the WTO and subsequent riots. I didn't agree with a lot of things, but we all don't agree. But who would agree to closing all the parks? What kind of county would do that? Our cities are protesting, by the way.
post #2 of 8
That really stinks! Maybe someone should appeal to Bill Gates' humanitarian side and see if he will take some of that obscene amount of money he makes to improve his neighborhood.
post #3 of 8
Of course property values will drop and people will be out of work and the children will not have their swimming lessons, etc., but kids will also have no attractive place to pass the time. Cities build youth centers to keep the kids busy in a constructive way so they don't get in trouble. What's the old saying? Idle hands are the devil's workshop! This is a really shortsighted action.
post #4 of 8
I realize that the economy is in trouble, but geesh! That's a bit extreme. How about cutting back on the pork projects that I'm sure are still in the budget. Or how about cutting their outrageous salaries that they determine for themselves? I'm sure there are other ways to cut the budget and still include parks. Denver is going through some big-time budget cuts right now, too. Luckly parks are not being considered. I know that Boulder is not opening any of their public pools this year, but that is because we are in a drought.

You're right - who elects these people? Obviously we are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but I thought the same thing when Clinton got elected, let alone re-elected!
post #5 of 8
Heidi, I guess you and I are on opposite sides of the political thing too, but the word "politician" is the problem. We have too many politicians and not enough statesmen. There was a representative from PA who refused to run again rather than play the political "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" game. You know both parties play that game. The "What's in it for me?" attitude that adds codicils for special interests to totally unrelated worthwhile bills.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, a lot of people here were pretty ticked off at Gary Locke, our old governor, about WTO and some other stuff. The last couple of years, we've had a lot of violence and riots, race killings by cops, and things had gotten out of control. I guess that's why this new guy got elected. I just can't believe that this is going to happen. I mean, for people in Seattle it's no big deal. It's all urban anyway and the parks are small and filled with crackheads and whores, so why should they care? The parks down there are simply nasty. But for us, we have some of the best parks anywhere. One of them is the biggest off-leash dog park in the nation and a historical site. Our parks are beautiful and a big part of our lives. I'm going to get a movement going to secede from the county. I think honestly that makes the most sense. I mean, why are we in the same government as the urban area? We are separated by a huge lake. There are only 3 ways to get there, over one of the 2 floating bridges, or drive around the lake. So I say increase the separation and let's be on our own. Hmmm....wonder if it would work?
post #7 of 8
It just might, Alicat. Parts of Los Angeles are trying to secede from LA for pretty much the same reasons you said. They are paying the lion's share of taxes and aren't getting a decent return on investment.

Jeanie - you are so right. Political parties and ideologies may mean something to the grassroots population, but up where the power is it's pretty much all the same. I swear, the GOP and Dems would argue over what color the sky is if they thought it would improve their election stand. There are a few exceptions to that rule, John McCain being one of them. He'll tell off his own party just as soon as the other if he doesn't like what they are saying. Oh, I know he knows how to play the games, and he does it well. I still think he was by far the best presidential candidate we had, regardless of party. Unfortunately, he didn't really play by either's party line or rules. My 2cents.
post #8 of 8
That is one of the worst decisions I have heard about recently. Now nobody will have anywhere to go and relax. And the kids definitely need somewhere and something to do. I'd bet that juvenile crimes will increase, just because the kids are bored.

In my city, we are having a lot of trouble funding our schools. I know because I work in one. We are now fundraising for ourselves. It's really sad, we have these cards we can sell to use as phone cards, and to get local merchants to pitch in when you show it and buy something.

It's too bad our government officials are more concerned with their salaries and benefits, and they don't take the time and work for the people who voted for them. Makes me wonder why they're called public servants.
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