Letter to the Editor: Swecker proposes private funding for parks - why not go a step further, and return land to the private sector

Jackie Juntti


What does it take to get politicians in Olympia to listen to ideas that WILL work? I've reached the conclusion that they don't want ideas that will work as that would remove the constant cry for higher taxes which is what too many of them want.

Here we have Sen. Swecker (R-20) proposing private funding for parks. I have been suggesting for years that we need to STOP buying land for parks as there is no money to maintain what has already been removed from the tax roles. Instead of having private outfits lease or name and pay for that naming, why not SELL a great many of the parks and return that property to the private sector and the TAX ROLES?
If it is decided that some of it needs to be parks then sell it with the provision that the property will remain as park use. Private owner/operators will maintain it better than any level of government is. Parks will be safer as the owner will make sure that customers behave or they will be kicked out. Parks will not be taken over by druggies and perverts as that would ruin the owners livelihood. Taxpayers would win win win. The property returns to the tax rolls, income would be another place to generate tax revenue.

Last year or the year before Sen. Don Benton brought forth a proposal for the rest areas on the freeways that was a great idea but he couldn't get enough support from other legislators to pass it. NOW IS THE TIME TO DO THIS!!! Letting rest areas out for bid to different fast food outfits would make the rest areas SAFER - would provide maintenance - and GENERATE REVENUE instead of being an expense to taxpayers. Perhaps someone can get Sen. Benton to reintroduce his plan as it is a good one.

Next is the land the state owns and fails to maintain. I watched a hearing on TVW where a young woman was explaining how the state buys up land to protect *habitat*. Said state agency then fails to eliminate the noxious weeds so the *habitat* is ruined. Said State agency then buys adjoining land to expand the *habitat* and again fails to maintain it so it is useless to the *habitat*. Said cycle continues over and over. When private property owners fail to get rid of noxious weeds they get hit with a fine and then a lien on their property. What happens when state agencies fail to keep noxious weeds under control? NOTHING!!!!!
Those weeds then get onto private property and the private owner has to deal with it. Go after the SOURCE.

We need to have this legislature examine how much land the different state agencies have purchased and to closely examine the failure to maintain this property. Also, a stop order needs to be in place to not allow any more land purchases for any reason by any branch or agency of government until they have done a thorough study of the current inventory and the condition of that land. If it is overrun by noxious weeds then that must be addressed and resolved at once. Government isn't supposed to own land anyway with the few exceptions indicated in the Constitution.

We need to have a clear policy on when and where the government (city, county, state) should become a property holder and under what terms and conditions. There is no reason government held ground should be exempt from the rules private owners must abide by.

Doug Sutherland needs to **Commission the Land** - not purchase and become a slum land lord. When a private party allows property holdings to deteriorate they get hauled into court to resolve the problem. Why is the state not held to at least the same standard if not higher?

It is time to SELL all state owned property that is not being properly maintained and cared for.

All the above have been brought forward by WGEN many times over the years. In this time of budget crisis it is time to put these suggestions into law. The state needs revenue!! (so they say)
Implementing the above ideas will reduce expenditures - promote safety - and generate tax revenue. How can anyone argue with that?

Jackie Juntti
WGEN idzrus@earthlink.net
Call the Oly Hot Line 1-800-562-6000 and let YOUR legislators know about this.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site