Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Vote ‘yes’ on PenMet’s lid lift to support seniors

Posted on October 4th, 2023 By: Betty Lilienthal

‘How to put into words the passion and commitment I feel? As a woman of a “certain” age (Ahem…senior citizen) I relish my years. After much searching, my husband and I chose to retire in the Gig Harbor area in 2003. It promised all of the charm and beauty of a very desirable community in which to enjoy our retirement years.

We looked forward to sharing that enjoyment with other seniors. When the PenMet Parks District was brought to my attention I noticed several things:

  • They offered many wonderful opportunities for youngsters, teens, young adults and young parents; desirable sports fields, beautiful walking trails, beaches and assorted programs … but, where were the senior programs? My fellow senior friends and I were quick to bring this to the attention of the Commissioners and the newly appointed Executive Director, Ally Bujacich.
  • They heard us and all agreed, seniors needed dedicated programs! At that time there were zero hours of senior participation; in several short years those hours have jumped to about 5,000 hours. I call that an achievement!
  • Seniors are now enjoying many diverse programs such as Tai Chi, S.A.I.L (Stay Active and Independent for Life), dance and other health driven exercise classes, various educational, entertainment and social activities, including art and literature.
  • PenMet is looking to the future and expects to increase those hours to more than double, and at low costs to seniors. I have been amazed by the quick reaction and positive response from everyone at PenMet. They listened and delivered. We have a long way to go, but look at the plans for the future; it is bright!

Why is all of this so important? It takes money and experienced staff to run any successful program. In order to reach our full potential … we need this Levy Lift.

I ask each of you reading this, to please take a moment to read and understand the full impact of the “pass/no pass” of this levy measure. There is a mass of information floating about (some very accurate and some outdated and inaccurate). I will not go into all of the data and numbers here, but it is available to everyone on PenMet’s website, which clearly defines why this levy lift is so vital to each of us. The significance of this levy lift is why I have this fire in my belly, why I am so enthusiastic and feel so strongly about the need for it. The success of this levy lift is necessary to move forward with confidence, to protect and ensure the future of our parks, to safeguard that those benefits will be here for our families, now and in the future.  Parks for all, parks for life.

A vibrant, healthy park district brands a community. A healthy, active, socialized senior contributes to that community, and in return that community is responsible for supporting not only its seniors, but all of its citizens.

We, as citizens of the Gig Harbor area deserves all of the services provided by our park system, and we all have to contribute to that end. I love my home and I love Gig Harbor; I believe in PenMet, and I believe that they believe in us.

I ask that you join me in what I trust is the best action —  help pass the levy lift!

For the benefit of all of us.

Betty Lilienthal

Gig Harbor

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