Rally To Save Normandy Park’s Parks Is Sunday, Nov. 1st At Marvista Park


Proposition #1, aimed at creating a “Metropolitan Park District” in Normandy Park, is on the ballot for the Nov. 3rd general election, and, if passed, would take parks “off the chopping block” and create a revenue to continue funding the city’s parks.

Proponents of the Proposition are holding a rally on Sunday, Nov. 1st, and here are the details:

WHAT: Prop. #1 Park Rally

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 1st, beginning at Noon

WHERE: Marvista Park

INFO: From their website:

“In response to revenue shortfalls for the year 2009, which have reduced available funds for Parks & Recreation spending, the Normandy Park City Council has adopted Resolution 817, placing Proposition 1 on the November 3, 2009 ballot. Proposition 1 asks voters to decide if a Metropolitan Park District should be formed for the purpose of operating and managing parks, natural areas aquatics and recreation programs.

In 2010, the City will face a $400,000 deficit, unless new revenue sources are identified. Cuts to be considered will reduce the level of services provided in public safety, parks and recreation, and maintenance of streets, storm drainage and public facilities.

Metropolitan Park District
Proposition 1 would create a Metropolitan Park District, which would have boundaries coterminous with the boundaries of Normandy Park. The Park District would be governed by the City Council serving as the Ex-officio Board of Directors. The Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District would have authority to levy property taxes to enhance and maintain the Normandy Park Parks and Open Space System as well as provide aquatics, cultural and recreation programs.”

For more info, go to www.peopleforparks.info.

Here’s the language from the Voter’s Pamphlet:

City of Normandy Park
Simple Majority (RCW 35.61.040)

Proposition No. 1
Metropolitan Park District

The Normandy Park City Council passed Resolution No. 817 in order to allow voters to decide whether to create a Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District with boundaries coterminous with the boundaries of the City as now or hereafter established and to be governed by the Normandy Park City Council as the ex officio board of commissioners to support parks, aquatics, and recreation programs. Shall the Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District be so created and governed?

FOR THE FORMATION OF A METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT TO BE GOVERNED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF NORMANDY PARK AS THE EX OFFICIO BOARD OF THE METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS

AGAINST THE FORMATION OF A METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

If approved by the voters, this proposition would create a metropolitan park district to manage, control, improve, maintain, and acquire parks, parkways, boulevards, and recreational facilities, and to provide recreation programs. All property in the City of Normandy Park would be in the metropolitan park district.

The City of Normandy Park currently owns five destination parks, one neighborhood park, one low-intensity nature preserve, and twelve mini-parks. Most City parkland consists of passive parks and open space, but approximately eighteen acres are developed for active recreation. The City also owns and operates a recreation center and provides recreational programs. All expenses for these facilities and activities are currently paid from the general tax revenues of the City. In recent budget years, rising costs of providing other City services has limited the City’s ability to adequately fund parks and recreation.

If this proposition passes, acquiring, improving, maintaining and operating parks and park and recreation programs would become the responsibility of the separate metropolitan parks district. The Normandy Park City Council would act as the metropolitan park district’s board of commissioners but the district would acquire, improve, maintain and operate its facilities and programs separately from the City. To pay the cost of doing so, the metropolitan park district would have the authority to levy a general property tax of up to 75 cents for each one thousand dollars of assessed valuation. All revenues generated by this tax would be used to acquire, improve, maintain and operate parks and park and recreation programs.

Statement For

Normandy Park residents live in a distinctly unique community intertwined with wonderful parks and green spaces that enhance our quality of life.

The current economic climate presents our City with an approximate $400,000 budget shortfall. Our City’s situation is similar to many other municipalities. We must make tough choices by reducing services, including maintaining parks facilities and infrastructure.

Approval of Proposition 1 will allow us to keep our parks open as well as improve, maintain and expand our City’s park system, NOW!

• Improve hiking/walking trails throughout the City, remove invasive ivy, and enhance salmon and wild life habitat.

• Increase capacity and improve safety for existing play fields, outdoor sport courts, maintenance and operation of existing recreation facilities.

• Support continued community and arts events, youth, adult and senior recreational programs.

• Maintenance and operations of and improvements to the Mt Rainier Pool.

If approved, the estimated cost to a homeowner of a property with an assessed value of $500,000 about $225 per year, or 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The Park District levy would be subject to the 1% cap for any future increases.

Please support Proposition 1.

Keep the “Park” in Normandy Park!


Rebuttal of Statement Against

Proposition #1 is providing residents with fiscally responsible choices:

PROTECT EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE, PAST INVESTMENTS, PROPERTY VALUES

Keep Open Mount Rainier Pool, ball fields Fix and Complete existing or approved infrastructure improvements: Marvista, City Hall, Brittany, Nist Parks, Walker Preserve Take Care of existing, but degraded parks, forests, streams, beaches, green spaces Finish trails for seamless walking/running/biking.

Please invest in our children’s neighborhood!

Dedicate funds to keep the “Park” in Normandy Park!!!

STATEMENT PREPARED BY: Linda Peterson Hughes, Walter Hunt, Earnest Thompson

Statement Against

The new Parks District isn’t about parks, it’s about revenue. It’s about creating another taxing district “pocket” for the City, with the revenue being controlled by the same elected officials and administration, and for the same purposes. It’s really all about creating a larger tax base for city government.

Unfortunately, that’s not the whole story. The current administration wants more city staff and facilities. A new city hall, a new rec center, a new maintenance facility and commensurate additional staff have all been under discussion at the city, and all can be at least partially funded by this new Parks District levy.

Complicating this is the apparent inability of our administration to appreciate the dangerous state of the economy, with plummeting revenues and skyrocketing personnel cost, and a state and county government which will be continually pushing large portions of their deepening budget shortfalls down onto us, making our financial situation even more precarious. This is a time for fiscal restraint, not expansion.

A “Yes” vote without an individual commitment from the voter to vigilantly work to restrain city spending will result in much higher taxes and an unmanageable deficit in our immediate future.

Tread carefully.


Rebuttal Of Statement For

No rebuttal submitted.


STATEMENT PREPARED BY: John Rankin

Complete Text of Resolution

CITY OF NORMANDY PARK RESOLUTION NO. 817

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF NORMANDY PARK, WASHINGTON, PROVIDING FOR THE SUBMISSION OF A PROPOSITION TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF NORMANDY PARK AT THE NOVEMBER 3, 2009 GENERAL ELECTION, FOR THEIR APPROVAL OR REJECTION, PROVIDING FOR AUTHORITY TO CREATE A METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 35.61 RCW TO BE GOVERNED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NORMANDY PARK SERVING AS THE EX OFFICIO BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF SAID METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT; AND PROVIDING FOR OTHER MATTERS PROPERLY RELATED THERETO.

WHEREAS, the city of Normandy Park is an Optional Municipal Code City, located in King County, Washington, duly organized and existing pursuant to the laws of the state of Washington; and,

WHEREAS, Chapter 35.61 RCW authorizes a city to create a metropolitan park district wholly within its boundaries; and

WHEREAS, the City’s General Fund is facing a shortfall in excess of $0.40 million for calendar year 2010; and

WHEREAS, across-the-board reductions in expenditures paid from the General Fund could require a 15% or larger cut in individual departments or services; and

WHEREAS, Parks and Recreation services and programs are substantially funded by the General Fund. Additional funding is received in the form of gifts and user charges; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has taken steps to increase user fees and charges for Parks and Recreation facilities; and

WHEREAS, the City’s General Fund cannot support ongoing operation, maintenance and repair required for Mt. Rainier Pool; and

WHEREAS, in order to minimize the impact of cuts in services to people using Normandy Park Parks and Recreation facilities and services the City Council has directed City staff to prepare a proposition to be placed on the November 2009 ballot authorizing the creation of a metropolitan park district pursuant to Chapter 35.61 RCW; and

WHEREAS, a metropolitan park district has additional and independent authority to tax property to raise funds restricted to parks and recreation purposes provided for in Chapter 35.61 RCW; and

WHEREAS, Normandy Park Parks and Recreation are an essential element to the livability, public health, safety and welfare of Normandy Park residents; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Normandy Park does not have available sufficient moneys to sustain and maintain the facilities and services of Parks and Recreation departments of the City; and,

WHEREAS, in order to provide and maintain the Parks and Recreation facilities and services an additional source of funding is necessary; and,

WHEREAS, it is necessary that the funds needed for such expenditure be raised by an additional regular taxes levied in accordance with the law.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NORMANDY PARK, WASHINGTON DOES HEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Election.  Pursuant to RCW 35.61.020, the Normandy Park City Council hereby calls for submission of a proposition to the qualified electors of the City asking whether the Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District shall be created.  The Director of the King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division, as ex officio supervisor of elections in King County, is hereby requested to call the election in the City of Normandy Park on November 3, 2009 in conjunction with the general election to be held on that date.

Section 2. Ballot Proposition. The proposition to be submitted to the electorate of the City of Normandy Park shall read substantially as follows:

CITY OF NORMANDY PARK

PROPOSITION NO. 1

METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT

The Normandy Park City Council passed Resolution No. 817 in order to allow voters to decide whether to create a Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District with boundaries coterminous with the boundaries of the City as now or hereafter established and to be governed by the Normandy Park City Council as the ex officio board of commissioners to support parks, aquatics, and recreation programs.  Shall the Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District be so created and governed?

[ ] For the formation of a metropolitan park district to be governed by the City Council of Normandy Park as the ex officio Board of the metropolitan park district commissioners.

[ ] Against the formation of a metropolitan park district.

Section 3. Boundaries of the Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District. The boundaries of the Normandy Park Metropolitan Park District shall encompass the City of Normandy Park, as fully described in Attachment A, attached hereto and incorporated by reference.

Section 4. Effective Date. This Resolution shall be in full force and take effect immediately.

PASSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NORMANDY PARK, WASHINGTON, THIS 14th DAY OF JULY, 2009; AND SIGNED IN AUTHENTICATION OF ITS PASSAGE THIS 14 th DAY OF JULY, 2009.


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