Letters to the Editor

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PARKS: Proposed fees will hurt the poor

Letter by Jerry Premo, Gig Harbor on Feb. 11, 2011 at 9:21 am | 16 Comments »
February 11, 2011 10:04 am

Recent articles about plans to charge high fees to visit state parks have me concerned. Elite user groups are telling legislators in Olympia the fees seem reasonable, but no one is speaking for the struggling families out there.

Democrats in Olympia, in their haste to blindly comply with the governor’s desire to no longer fund the parks, have kicked the poor families to the curb. Struggling families will be forced to do a U-turn when they get to the parks this summer and find out they need a $30 annual pass or have to pay $10 for a day pass.

For many of these families, a day at the park is their “staycation” and all they can afford. To the elite, the proposed fees maybe OK. But to a poor family the fees will be draconian and keep them from enjoying the parks they already own.

Democrats used to watch out for the poor when they made policy. Now it’s the Republicans who are saying fees should be the last resort because they will keep many struggling families from enjoying the parks.

Why are fee increases the only ideas out of Olympia. Where are the ideas to reform the parks, make operations more efficient and eliminate waste? The Democrats have lost their way on this proposal and instead have decided to punish the poor families with their idea for high fees. Shame on them.

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