Letters to the Editor

Park district: Pool donation raises doubts

Many voters in the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District would like answers to the following questions:

1. Does the project or club being considered as the recipient of $20,000 meet the state requirements? (RCW 36.69.130, Power of Districts.)

As stated by the State Auditor’s office, the parks district can not give money or contract with any other organization to provide services. The district must provide these services in-house such as the district has been doing at Oak Harbor City Beach Summer Programs.

2. How many people/children are being served now by the applicant, or what is the estimated number of participants who would use a proposed project?

3. What is the present financial status of the applicant? How many people do they serve? What are the salaries of the officials/managers?

4. What activities do they offer? Does this group duplicate services already being offered by other public and religious organizations in the community?

According to the state law, a public agency can not simply donate money to a private agency, no matter how worthy the cause.

RCW 36.69.120 states, “Commissioners’ duties are to initiate, direct and administer park and recreational activities and select and employ such properly qualified employees as it may deem necessary.” (Meaning you can’t turn over these responsibilities to some other club or organization to operate for the parks district.)

If these legal requirements have been overlooked in your previous decision, I respectfully request that you start over and carefully follow the letter of the law.

The solution: When commissioners, the pool manager and employees and pool users can agree that the pool is adequately maintained and has sufficient reserves, I predict there will be enormous agreement for other recreational projects to be funded.

Trudy Sundberg

Oak Harbor

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