Whatcom Columbia Valley Park And Recreation District Commissioner Position 5
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 workplan 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.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
Jessica Bee (NP)
Why did you decide to run for this position?
What are three major issues facing your park and recreation district?
Of the three, which one is the most urgent?
What experiences have you had that prepares you for this position?
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
I have been part of the work to create a park district in Columbia Valley for two years prior to the formation in 2017. I was also granted the opportunity to serve by our voters, in the position of Columbia Valley Parks and Recreation District Commissioner in 2017.
I decided to run for this position because this work is important. For our community of Columbia Valley Urban Growth Area this is more than an amenity. This is a way for neighbors to connect with one another in a shared community space. It is something I myself took for granted when I lived in the Sunnyland Neighborhood with my then, very young children. The parks and trails of Sunnyland provided much needed opportunities for fresh air, community connectedness, and physical activity.
Right now my Columbia Valley neighbors: individuals, seniors, and families, do not get a chance to engage in these healthful opportunities. My hope is to be part of the work to create neighborhood parks within a half mile of each persons home to benefit our entire community.
Funding, community involvement, and planning.
It is tough to decide between the three, each are essential. However, I feel with funding we could elevate our other two goals of community involvement, and planning. I say this because recently the Columbia Valley Park and Recreation District Board of commissioners invited the community to a special meeting and had 10+ people in attendance. These folks came out in part, I believe, because we were able to promote the opportunity and pay to host this meeting at a local community hub. With funding we would also be able to begin the process of planning with the community as well as professional support. Commissioners receive no pay for this volunteer work. We receive the benefits of this work, when children in our community feel hope as they play and grow together, when parents meet other parents, when we see the elderly connecting with new friends. These dividends will continue to pay forward for generations. I humbly aspire to be a small part of this work.
My experience is limited in elected positions. But, I have had an opportunity to live, play, and connect in my community for the last 10 years. For nearly five of these years I have worked at the local resource center. This position has given me more opportunities to stay close to the pulse of the community and to hear from a broad range of community members. I am lucky to do this work and deeply honored to hear the unique perspectives in the community.
I have led groups, worked on successful grant proposals and volunteered broadly.
Local parks has been my passion for three years. During these three years, it would be dishonest to say I always felt energized and excited by the work. However, this work was in concert with a small dedicated group of community members and our grit never wavered. We endeavored. The CV Parks and Recreation District became real because of this and every neighbor who voted yes. I am here to put forward this work and I tell you, my grit will not waver.
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