A measure on the ballot for Seattle voters will decide the creation of a Seattle Park District, which would create a metropolitan park district to fund, maintain, operate, and improve parks, community centers, pools, and other recreation facilities and programs. Its boundaries would be the City of Seattle’s boundaries and its board would comprise the Seattle City Councilmembers. The District could levy property taxes, currently limited to 75¢ per $1,000 of valuation; and could contract with the City to perform certain functions.
Out of 136,666 ballots counted as of Friday, August 8, 53.23 percent (71,500 votes) were in favor of creating a Seattle Park District and 46.77 percent (62,821 votes) were against it.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today issued the following statement in response to what he deemed as the “apparent passage” of the Seattle Park District measure by Seattle voters: “I want to thank Seattle voters for their support of the parks district and commitment to creating a lasting legacy of open space and facilities for generations of Seattleites. This vote means a sustainable source of funding for our parks system. We will begin work immediately to address our existing maintenance backlog, working diligently to manage the needs of our park system as Seattle continues to grow as a city.”
Those in favor of creating a Seattle Park District said it would allow for more money to go toward developing newly acquired parks and toward a backlog of long-term maintenance needs for existing parks.
Those who are against the creation of a Seattle Park District argued that it is not a necessary measure to solve funding problems, creates more red tape, and takes away the ability for Seattle residents to vote on park projects.