Voting Yes

Voting Yes for the Parks Referendum seems the best use of my vote. I spent years on the Parks & Recreation Commission. Budget cuts reduced staff so badly we had more Commissioners than Parks & Rec employees! Voting yes protects our nearly 12,000 acres of parkland and our libraries from future budget cuts.

12 Comments

chadp

about 8 years ago

I struggle with this logic.  I want to support parks and libraries by electing like minded people to local government that will put in place a budget that ensures these institutions remain viable.  I don't want this referendum to be used as an excuse to cut future budgets to parks and libraries.  Don't think that can happen?  Look at the argument being made for the Vikings stadium using money from the Legacy Amendment.  I have talked to local DNR officials about the budget cuts this year and the implication that they will fill the gap with grants form the Legacy Amendment.  This is explicitly forbidden in the wording of the amendment but the legislature can set any budget it wants.  Please don't take this rant the wrong way, since I plan to vote yes on this referendum.  However, I don't believe that this ensures that these budgets cannot be cut in some future time and back-filled with this allocated money.

Bret

about 8 years ago

I'll be voting yes, but this is a larger structural problem.  If we could afford libraries and parks during the Great Depression, we should be able to afford them now.  This gutting of government crap (as well as corporate control of government) is what needs to really be addressed.

Solon

about 8 years ago

You have Parks then you have Recreation.  The Parks employees would be more numerous than commissioners if the majority of them had not been reassigned to the Public Works Department.
Based on this knowledge I'd guess you have to track Parks funding between departments.
Recreation funding was severely gutted.  Although if you combine the salaries of those at the top it's quite an eye opener.

Sharla Gardner

about 8 years ago

Bret is absolutely spot on. The larger problem is the financial starvation of government by some corporate interests. Unfortunately local government has to deal with the decisions made by the state and federal governments. Electing people who understand and believe that government is the most appropriate entity to fairly and efficiently deliver government services will help. The problem, as Bret points out, however, is systemic and no elected official will lead us out of it. That's why we need the 99% movement. In the meantime, please vote YES to the Parks Referendum.  Then, please support and work with our local movement people to figure out ways to address the systemic unfairness and Darwinistic attitude of the status quo in our country. We have to start somewhere.

Bret

about 8 years ago

And, Sharla is absolutely spot on!  It has started, but we have to persevere and grow.

Dan D'Allaird

about 8 years ago

The access to job-related resources that libraries provide is relevant to this discussion. National and local statistics tell us that last year Duluth library patrons used library computers for over 20,000 job-related activities, such as finding and applying for jobs and creating resumes. If the branches close, the Main library can not absorb all of the materials or computers from the branches, so the digital divide between the technological haves and have nots will grow in Duluth. We have to keep these branches open.

zra

about 8 years ago

The problem is simple, i'm surprised more people don't get it:

Remove money from the Government's revenue stream by giving or continuing tax cuts = less money for government to do its business and provide needed services = closing libraries, laying off teachers, firemen and police officers, infrastructure crumbles.

i've said this so much lately that i think it's becoming a mantra: the Government isn't broken, politics is. Politics is concerned with ideology, which only benefits those who ascribe to it. I'm not opposed to "living within our means," I'm quite used to doing that on a familial level, but how are we as a society supposed to do that when those means are continually shrinking because someone doesn't want to pay his or her share of the upkeep?

iiveey

about 8 years ago

Just back from a lovely hike-Of course I'll vote for parks and rec!  
This is slightly off topic, but did someone say they would post a PDD voters guide?  Or maybe a link to one by The League of Women Voters?

Sister Edith Bogue

about 8 years ago

I will be voting Yes! Parks and recreation programs are important for attracting and keeping young families in Duluth - and we need them.  Libraries are important for people seeking work, for families with kids, for their cultural programs - we need them! These are essential programs and services for Duluth to be a healthy and vibrant city.

bluenewt

about 8 years ago

Not quite on point, but can anyone tell me what the school referendum money is for? I can't find an explanation of the referendum online.

TimK

about 8 years ago

The statewide average for school districts is $936 per student; Duluth spends $365.60 per student. The money would be spent on additional course offerings and reducing class sizes. These figures are from the DNT. I am willing to shell out the $$ for the levy, but not for the DNT archived article.

Andrew Slade

about 8 years ago

Back on topic, here's my quick take on the parks (AND LIBRARY) referendum: http://northshore-thereandback.blogspot.com/2011/10/vote-yes-for-duluth-parks-referendum.html

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