Wants city funds for park district

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 1, 2014 

A separate and distinct authority outside the City of Ferndale to administer, operate and maintain the parks system I believe is clearly the only choice. For the past five-plus years, the park system has been neglected; short of grass cutting, weed eating and supplying of dog bags. Playing the "down-turned economy" card is a non-starter of an excuse for me. The approved parks budget for 2014 is $450,579. Based on recent history, it is doubtful that any of that budget will go toward operations and maintenance of the parks. Nor is the return to a Parks Department the answer because I believe such authority would remain inept and the budget not protected from the long reach of the city. Considering the vast variance of Vander Yacht Park users from Blaine-Lynden-Bellingham, Burlington and Mount Vernon, Canadians transiting to and from Costco, as well as educational and international tour groups (Norway and Japan in 2013) visiting Pioneer Park, a Ferndale Parks District Authority is, I believe, unquestionably justified. And taxpayers should not pay twice: the $450,579 should convey from the city to the Parks District Authority. Beware,"the leopard may change colors but the spots are always there." Only a clean break will stop the "from Peter to pay Paul" syndrome. Furthermore, stop thinking "new" anything (ie., trails) until such time that what is at hand has been properly maintained.

Dick Mills

Ferndale

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