Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Gig Harbor is a treasure and worth investing in

Posted on September 27th, 2023 By: Heather Maher

Those of us who call Gig Harbor “home” hold our town deeply in our hearts. When asked where I live, I smile and say proudly, “Gig Harbor!”, recalling images of our beautiful city.  What a dream it is to live in such a picturesque place.

However, the beauty of Gig Harbor is not just in our waterfront charm, but in our community and the people who reside here. Gig Harbor, as we presently know it, did not just happen. It came from years of hard work by many dedicated people, striving to achieve and protect the dream that our town has become.  As a local mom and Gig Harbor resident for over 14 years, I can say with conviction that our town is a treasure and is worth investing in.

One of the greatest ways to invest in preserving our town’s beauty is to support the upcoming levy renewal for PenMet Parks. This levy will allow PenMet to continue to serve our Gig Harbor families, seniors, youth, and vulnerable populations and is a crucial pillar in the overall strength of our community.

As a mom of two, I am always thinking about the well-being of my children. Where can my children play safely? I think back to the early days of the pandemic, when everything was shut down. There were no playgrounds, no resources — even beaches were closed. For those with young children or grandchildren, you know that safe parks are more than just places to get the wiggles out. They are lifelines for our families. They are quite literally a breath of fresh air from stressful moments at home. Safe playgrounds are where imaginations are set free, physical exercise encouraged, and time away from screens can happen. Without safe places to play, what would our community look like?

Imagine the holes there would be in our community without safe places like Sehmel Park. My family has spent hours at “Same-Old Park,” as my son used to playfully mispronounce when he was younger.  The levy renewal for PenMet Parks will help ensure that our community continues to have safe places to play and recreate. Our town is beautiful because families have safe places to be.

PenMet Parks also provides programs that pour into the mental, physical, and emotional health of our community. I am so thankful we live in a place that offers engaging programs for our teens, likes the ones that PenMet does, especially during those delicate years in our youth’s lives. I’m thankful PenMet Parks offers programs for our seniors, thinking of my own parents who are entering into their 70s. And I’m also thankful for programs for vulnerable and disabled populations, showcasing the beauty of our town in valuing all its people. The levy renewal will mean PenMet Parks can continue to prioritize our community’s health. Our town is beautiful because we have healthy programs.

The levy renewal for PenMet Parks will also continue to support our town’s values. PenMet Parks is a key player in our local Gig Harbor economy. Local makers markets, vendors, camp counselors, real estate networking and more are all directly supported through opportunities PenMet provides. And PenMet programs have become traditions in our community, like the Scarecrow Festival and the Family Dances in May. My own family attends these dances every year and they have become cherished memories with our children. PenMet Parks draws people together, and our community is beautiful because of that.

Lastly, the return on investment in PenMet Parks is monumental. It is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing. A yes vote on the levy will mean less maintenance and expenses on our taxpayer pocket books further down the road. It’s a preventative measure to ensure PenMet Parks can continue to meet the needs of our community, rather than fall into costly disrepair.

The beauty of our town, our pride in our town, depends on our town’s safety, health, and investment in our community. I will proudly be voting yes on PenMet Park’s levy renewal this Fall. I believe in our parks, I believe in our families, and I believe in the beauty that is our Gig Harbor!

For more information about PenMet Parks’ levy renewal, visit https://penmetparks.org/parks-and-recreation-levy-renewal/

Heather Maher

Gig Harbor

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