Letter: Parks and Rec has work to do before asking for money

Editor,

Your two front page articles in the Jan. 30 edition of the South Whidbey Record couldn’t have been published better. On the one hand, we have the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District asking the public to vote in a survey on how much we’re willing to pay for new proposed recreation facilities.

On the other, we have the Island County commissioners hiring a new budget manager to help them move to a “more performance-based budget.”

The budget manager, Doug Martin, says he’ll give the commissioners “information such as how many people were incarcerated last year and how many miles of road were resurfaced” to help them decide where resources are needed.

Presumably he’ll include the cost per incarceratee and cost per mile and cost per taxpayer.

Hopefully The Record will ensure this is published.

Before Parks and Recreation asks us if we’re willing to give them $27 a year for a new pool, I’d like them to sync up with Doug Martin and tell us what they’re spending their current budget on, how many people use each service/facility, the cost per use and the annual cost per taxpayer, just like incarceratees and mile of resurfaced road.

Then, they can come to us with all the cards on the table and ask what recreation facilities we want to pay for.

Maybe there’s some service we can give up to get that new pool or whatever to offset the $27 a year.

Governments should have to live like kids who get an allowance and think long and hard about why they deserve an increase.

William Schild

Freeland

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