Letters to the Editor Opinion

Letter to the editor: Misinformation and inaccurate statements by PenMet levy opponents

Posted on October 11th, 2023 By: Steve Nixon

I am writing in response to Ed Friedrich’s article on the PenMet Parks levy lid lift measure. Mr. Friedrich’s reporting on this measure provides a good explanation regarding the funding structure for PenMet, as well as explaining the financial implications associated with the measure. Unfortunately, some of the information and statements provided in the GHN article and repeating letters to the editor by Craig McLaughlin were inaccurate and misleading.

Mr. McLaughlin referred to a study completed by PenMet Parks staff and consultants regarding cashflow estimates without approval of a lid lift measure in 2023. This study was conducted as part of the decision-making process for the Board in March of 2021, when we were evaluating funding options for the development and construction of the Community Recreation Center.

The study was completed, and all the elements of the study were discussed in open, public meetings at the time we were considering options for the Community Recreation Center funding. The board made decisions and took actions to move forward with the CRC based off this study at the time. The study was developed over 2 years ago and no longer reflects PenMet’s ability to operate at our current level without the approval of the 2023 levy.

Mr. McLaughlin’s statements regarding the park host program are simply, not true.  PenMet has used standard language in separation agreements with some former employees. Mr. McLaughlin’s statement that PenMet Parks “failed” an audit is categorically false. PenMet Financial and Accountability audits can be viewed here.

Information regarding the lid lift measure can be found on PenMet’s website, https://penmetparks.org/parks-and-recreation-levy-renewal/ and https://penmetparks.org/levy-renewal-faqs/ .

Don’t let Craig McLaughlin mislead you with misinformation and inaccurate statements.  Ask the questions that you want to ask.  Seek the answers that you need to make an informed decision. The Board is seeking your direction regarding the future of PenMet Parks. Please cast your ballot to make your voice heard.

Steve Nixon

President, PenMet Park Board of Commissioners

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