If the Seattle Times editorial board is going to put so little time and effort into writing this editorial, then I’m not going to bother to put much time and effort into fisking it.
SEATTLE Proposition 1 appears headed for passage. No surprise, since the campaign to form a Seattle Park District was heavy on the “everyone loves parks” rhetoric and light on the governance details about the creation of an entirely new taxing authority.
As opposed to the No campaign, which was heavy on the lies and light on the… wait… what’s so wrong about a Park District campaign being heavy on the “everyone loves parks”…?
Taxpayers must remain vigilant.
Against dishonest editorials.
This new taxing authority is permanent. Voters will no longer be asked every few years whether they approve of how their money is being spent on parks through levy renewal measures.
Like they had been since Seattle was founded back in 2000.
Prop. 1 hands oversight of the district and about $48 million in its first year — twice the amount of the expiring parks levy — to the Seattle City Council, which will serve as the Park District’s board.
Oh no! We’ll be handing oversight of the parks over to the same people who already have oversight of the parks!
If City Council members want to raise property taxes from the initial rate of 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to 75 cents per $1,000 for parks, they may do so without asking voters. The current levy rate is about 20 cents per $1,000.
It’s called representative democracy. Look it up in the Constitution.
An agreement preserves at least in annual general-fund dollars for parks, but the city’s obligation can be reduced or diverted in an emergency.
For the life of me, I can’t parse this sentence.
Voters should demand that the mayor and council keep their $89 million general-fund promise to parks.
I’m guessing this sentence was supposed to be set up by the previous incomprehensible one?
The transparency, specific asks and expiration dates contained in previous park levies are why 59 percent of voters passed the last parks levy in 2008 and 55 percent supported a similar levy in 2000.
That’s three one-sentence paragraphs in a row.
Wednesday’s ballot count showed about 53 percent in favor of the Park District.
And another one! Jesus, I know print loves short paragraphs, but try stringing a couple coherent thoughts together for a change.
Voters, take a look at your neighborhood parks. Are those dirty bathrooms and leaky pipes getting fixed? Or is the money going to public-private ventures such as the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium or the planned waterfront park?
The fear-mongering didn’t work before the election, so I don’t see how it’s going to work after. But at least they’re done with the one-sentence paragraph thing.
The council gets to decide.
Spoke too soon.
“Woodland Park Zoo has paid lobbyists. How do you as a citizen or a community organization compete against that?” warns Don Harper, a parks advocate who opposed Proposition 1 and supports a levy.
Don Harper also warned that Prop 1 would build an airstrip atop Cal Anderson Park. Because he’s a lying liar.
A citizens committee is supposed to provide nonbinding recommendations to the district. It must act independently and serve as a vocal counterbalance to the council.
A council composed predominantly of members the Seattle Times endorsed.
The only other tool left for citizens to voice their displeasure is City Council elections. Beginning in 2015, most members will be elected by district instead of at-large. Incumbents will be vulnerable to challengers.
Um, the Park District doesn’t even begin to start collecting taxes until 2016, but the editors threaten to hold council members accountable for their misuse of funds in 2015. Because they’re from the future!
Remember that if the Park District fails to live up to its many promises.
That closing sentence might have been stronger if it didn’t read like it was left unfinished. But in their defense, after such a bitter campaign, I can understand it if they just ran out of.