Re: “Puyallup leaders bristle over parks ‘hysteria'” (TNT, 2-20).
Puyallup leaders’ response in regard to the parks study reveals a disdain that has overshadowed this process from the onset. City Manager Bill McDonald’s appointed team of six have conducted their analysis without transparency and input from the public or the Parks, Recreation and Senior Advisory Board.
This closed process is emblematic of someone who started with a conclusion and seeks the information with which to support his findings and doesn’t intend to brook any interference. McDonald fired the parks and recreation director, divided the parks division from the recreation division without regard for functionality and seeks to diminish it because it is not a “revenue generator.”
Further, the response of the City Council in general and Councilman John Knutsen in particular – he called the concerned public “vigilantes” and hysterical – is unacceptable for elected officials.
The rejection of contributions from the parks advisory board and the Washington Recreation and Park Association executive director makes no sense.
It is hardly surprising to residents of Puyallup and the surrounding area who are patrons of the recreation programs; recreation center; and the lovely, well-maintained parks. The record of this council for secrecy and disregard for the public leads us to believe that, even with the opportunity to eventually give input, the “study” and its recommendations will have already framed the results.