Lacey should take caution in expanding its parks board to non-city residents.

September 6th, 2021 by Ken

The recommendation to expand the Lacey Parks, Recreation and Cultural Commission to seven members from its current five members makes sense.

Having served on the Parks Board for the last six years and having recently left the board, I feel that seven members would be representative of the Lacey community.   Mayor Andy Ryder’s suggestion that two members come from the Urban Growth Area deserves consideration and discussion.  Much of what we do as a parks board does eventually impact areas around the city limits.

However I see two problems.  First and foremost comes taxing.  The board does recommend expenditures of money and even endorsements of public approved taxing measures.  It would be difficult for me to accept taxing proposals from non-tax paying representatives.  And secondly, affording non-city residents the same privileges as city residents mutes the idea of having to annex into the city to receive city services.

I recognize that this idea could be short-sighted, but there should be some advantage to being a resident of the City of Lacey.  Being involved in the future of the city should fall to residents.

Having said all of that – I know that in many cases we have extended city services outside the city limits.   Before the Lacey City Council makes the decision to expand the Parks Board to representation outside the city limits, I think it must have a serious discussion about the future of the city in regards to offering city services outside of its boundaries and when annexation should be required.

Posted in Government, Informational, The Real News

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