By Nov. 7, citizens of the Evergreen Park & Recreation District will be asked to vote on 6C, a measure to extend a tax that would otherwise be paid off in 2025. That 2005 tax was used to complete projects that were specified in the ballot measure language.
A “yes” vote on 6C would turn that same $1.3 million per year into EPRD annual revenue forever. Some of this revenue would be used to complete unidentified special projects, mostly single-use amenities, mostly to be located in Buchanan Park. In addition, some much-needed maintenance projects could be completed. For example, a new roof on Wulf Recreation Center might be installed.
Some citizens who are passionate about specific projects have been very involved in shaping the ideas about new projects. While these ideas were supposedly born out of a district-wide survey, there is a disconnect between the results of the survey, the projects being proposed and the mission of the district. On the other hand, it’s true that maintenance projects definitely need attention, but citizens don’t know exactly what these are and how much each of them will cost.
This lack of transparency makes 6C seem as though voters are being asked to give EPRD a “carte blanche.”
The result of this conundrum is that other than staff and the Board of Directors, single-use interest groups, and a few passionate citizens, the vast majority of Evergreen residents have no idea what 6C is about. Thus, a minority could vote in favor of a tax for the majority.
Of course, everyone is encouraged to vote. But on this one, voters might want to look at the Strategic Plan on the EPRD website first, then decide how to vote.
If 6C fails, perhaps EPRD will conduct a serious community education effort, and ask us to vote again in 2024 on a measure that is more specific, pertains to the district’s mission and is connected to the $100,000 taxpayer-funded survey.
Kit Darrow, Evergreen
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