Urging ‘No’ vote on parks package

Now that the Sammamish City Council has given approval to spend $42 million on an East Lake Sammamish Parkway beautification project, plus another $10,000 per year for dental and vision insurance benefits for council members, council members are asking residents for another $19 million for new parks and recreation facilities and $310,000 annually for parks operations. While I believe that parks and recreation are a critical part of any city, more than enough funds would be available for these improvements if the Parkway project were canceled. I would urge a “No” vote on Propositions 1 and 2.

It seems to me that the value of improvements to the parkway are very minimal and, indeed, no one I have spoken to, including bicyclists, believes the improvements are necessary. And why would taxpayers want to pay for dental and vision insurance for part-time council members when many of us are struggling to pay our own insurance bills?

I raised this question to Finance Director Lyman Howard on Sept. 15. To date a response has not been received. I believe it is time to put the brakes on unnecessary projects and spend the money where the most people will benefit.

-Jeff Matson