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Pierce METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT OF TACOMA Commissioner Pos. 4

4-year term; No salary A Parks & Recreation District is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the public parks and recreation facilities within their jurisdiction, as well as the acquisition of other parks space as funds provide and is appropriate. The commission sets the general policies and work plan of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional parks and recreation staff. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any parks levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing your park district?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What type of facilities do your county parks need at this time?

Phone (253) 226-9688
Town where you live Tacoma
Experience (300 characters max) I believe my financial analysis expertise brings a skill not held by other commissioners. Over the years I have held many non-profit board positions including 7 years as President of the Greater Metro Parks Foundation where the budget grew from $30,000 when I began in the 1990’s to over $3 million.
I have been involved with Metro Parks for over 20 years initially as a volunteer helping to raise funds for recreation projects as a member of the Greater Metro Parks Foundation. I am amazed that the citizens of Tacoma were so passionate about parks and green space over 110 years ago that they formed a government organization separate from the City of Tacoma in 1907 to ensure we always would have parks as a priority in our city. Through my volunteer work I learned that Metro Parks staff are dedicated to their jobs and being a part of what makes Tacoma a community. They continue to try be innovative with programs, provide what citizens need for recreation and leisure activities and are not satisfied with the status quo. It is because of this that I am proud to be a voice of community to the governance of the park district.
1. Partially due to the lack of passing the state capital budget during the legislative session, MPT is still short almost $5 million in funding for the Eastside Community Center. Metro Parks is committed and has moved ahead with the construction to replace the aging pool (at Gault) and provide a place for after-school activities, cooking classes, a gym, nature hikes and more to residents of the Eastside neighborhood. 2. Ensuring we have multiple sources of revenues for programs. With a wide disparity in what people can afford to pay along with the fact that tax revenues are not able to fund everything that citizens wants, the park district needs to operate efficiently and effectively with the funds they do receive. 3. Keeping up with maintenance on existing parks and facilities. MPT is working at being a LEEN organization with their processes to ensure facilities will last as long as possible along with the conservation of Tacoma's natural resources.
Funding the shortfall for the Eastside Community Center. Conversations continue with our State Legislators to obtain the funds allocated to the Eastside in the capital budget. All of the Commissioners are assisting staff with looking for grants and other creative ideas for fundraising the shortfall.
The parks in Tacoma are well maintained and facilities are added after multiple community conversations. I am not aware of any needs for new facilities outside of what was identified in the 2015 Bond. When a need for a facility is identified, MPT notes in their long range plan to add that. Once the STAR Center in South Tacoma was completed in 2012, the Eastside was identified as the next area of town needing a community center. While it took almost 10 years for the park district to obtain the funding for the STAR Center, the Eastside Community Center is becoming a reality just 6 years after that facility opened. There are areas of town that are lacking "green space" and with the overall Growth Management plans of densifying our neighborhoods, leadership will also need to come from the City of Tacoma to ensure that green space is required as buildings are constructed especially with projects targeting families with children. We all need to be able to enjoy the outdoors.
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