Letters to the Editor Opinion

Letter to the editor: City should consider joining parks district

Posted on June 9th, 2022 By: William V. Sehmel

Recently the executive director of the Harbor History Museum went before the Gig Harbor City Council and spoke on the idea of forming a new taxing district to support nonprofits in the Gig Harbor community, with a boundary that mirrors the Peninsula School District.

While the idea is noble and deserving, the size of the district is wrong. The Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor Peninsula already have taxing districts that could handle that matter; those districts are known as Key Peninsula Metropolitan Parks District & PenMet Parks District.

It is within the realm of a metropolitan park district to support nonprofits, such as museums, art & nature groups, and others. The pathway to success for these entities maybe to join the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District. This would still require a vote in the city, but the amount needed to join an existing park district is 50% +1. The amount needed to start a new taxing district would require 60% yes votes, and a second hoop of needing 40% of the amount of the participants in the last election to participate in the election.

The new district would be governed by a 9 member board, made up of the county executive and city governments within the new district. There is only one incorporated city within the proposed district, and that is Gig Harbor. Taking the path of joining PMPD, you would be served by a board of five local residents.

Whom would you rather have making your decisions, local residents or career politicians that may have a different agenda? If the residents of Gig Harbor joined the park district, they could reach their stated goal of gaining some additional monetary support for the non profits of our community. By joining the park district, many of the current problems about in-district & out-of-district would be settled and disappear.

William V. Sehmel

Gig Harbor

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