Tomorrow is election day. Leading up to this year’s election somebody paid for an interesting mailer to go out to many of the homes in the area. This political mailer does not say who paid for it. Hopefully it wasn’t out of the taxpayers’ pockets.
I have included a scan of it for those who haven’t seen it.
Yes, it is hard to read but we will ignore the choices in design and focus on the claims made.
The first fact we are presented with is that we vote for the park board. Everybody knows this, and it is not a reason to vote for any specific person. We are treated to a list of round numbers displaying activities the park district has held, but almost exclusively with the help of non-profits or other taxing bodies. Anything the park district is “offering” the public comes with an additional price tag on top of your taxes. Offering for you to pay to host a birthday party is no different than my offer right now that you can pay me $1000 to host your birthday party in my backyard. You may not take me up on it but it’s an offer.
Note that not listed among the proud accomplishments of the park district is keeping the parks maintained nor improving them in any way.
Here’s where things really fall off the rails. The district is claiming that is both offering “more” than other taxing bodies while keeping tax rates “low.” Wilmington Fire Department offers to save my life in case of a house fire. The park district offers to allow me to pay $45 on top of my taxes to sign up for a yoga class. The City of Wilmington offers roads and police, among other things. The park district offers me a chance to take my kid to a fishing derby that has no fish. The park district certainly does not offer more value, and whether they are keeping the tax rates low or not is a matter of opinion. That is of course not even mentioning that the taxes should be lower than anybody else’s when you’re a non-essential taxing body that doesn’t take care of the thing in it’s title.
As far as their graph goes, it’s entirely nonsensical. The graph is not titled. Neither the X nor Y axes are labeled. The Y-axis has numbers but no context, while the X-axis is simply blank. The park district has cherry picked four taxing bodies for this graph. I’m not sure exactly how many there are in Wilmington but I don’t see the school on their graph so it must be more than four. Maybe it’s because the school numbers would be higher than anybody else and that’s who the park is now partnering with for mowing?
“The park board is about progress.” Progressing away from having anything whatsoever to do with parks. Remember what the proposal was. Their long-term plan was to have the city increasingly pay for mowing, scaling up to 100% of the cost AND transferring ownership of the parks to the district.
But at least Bill Crews is moving to a new role. What a relief! I’m sure the taxpayers were worried sick about one person’s job being affected by the board’s decision to abandon the parks. How is this even legal? A taxing body is inventing a new job position and just filling it without opening applications to the public? I never knew being employed for the parks in Wilmington gives you the same job security as being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is a park district more concerned with running a gym as though they were a privately owned business than maintaining the parks. The one thing that they should be concerned with, the only thing in their name, is the parks. It doesn’t matter why they are abandoning the parks. They can blame the city all they want, and even if the city was at fault, why do we need to have a park district that uses zero of it’s tax money on parks? If I’m going to be unjustly taxed for a gym, I better not have to also pay a gym membership fee. This entire operation is a joke.
The Island Park District needs to go. Come May 1, they will no longer be maintaining the parks. The Island Park District is a lame duck taxing body on the verge of becoming obsolete.
I would urge you to not vote for any incumbent park commissioner. Unfortunately only four people are running for three seats, so at least two incumbents will return. However, you are not required to vote for three names. Just vote for the new guy, or even nobody. It would make a point if the commissioners were elected with only a fraction of the votes possible from all ballots cast.