If North Whidbey Park and Recreation fails in its second attempt to pass a replacement levy in November, all aquatic activities will be suspended on Nov. 13.
Executive Director Steve McCaslin said there’s not much else the district can do without those levy dollars.
The levy rate is 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. A family living in a $270,000 home — the median home price in Oak Harbor — pays $46 per year.
Oak Harbor’s pool is an asset to the community. It’s one of the few places providing recreational activities year-round. The community should support the pool and continue investing in the existing infrastructure.
Also facing the district is a changing of the guard, of sorts. Three of the five board commission seats are up for election.
Sean Merrill is running unopposed after a brief stint off the board. Current Commissioner Shane Hoffmire is being challenged by two relative unknowns — John Chargualaf and Mukunda-Krishna Tyson. Neither challenger responded to requests for an interview.
Hoffmire, however, served on the board for two years and shows an understanding of the importance of the district and what it offers.
Hoffmire is known to get passionate during meetings; some call it disruptive. But he doesn’t apologize for standing up for what he says he believes is right.
We believe that, along with voting to approve the levy, voters are be wise to reelect Hoffmire, who is at least willing to present his beliefs and stand behind them.
The other challenged race is between Dan Brown and Patricia Hardin.
Both would be new to the board, but both are regulars at the pool. Both are active in promoting the levy.
Brown’s had a contentious past with the current board. During an April meeting, police were summoned after he yelled at the board and slammed his fists on their table.
Brown said he didn’t think the board was listening to the public.
While Hardin and Brown both possess a knowledge of, and an appreciation for, the district, we think Hardin can bring some fresh ideas as well as a perspective unsullied by previous personality disputes and encounters with the board.
We encourage a vote to elect Hardin.