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Executive wants Si View to remain open

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Editor's note: The following is a letter written to the Valley Record

by King County Executive Ron Sims, Dec. 4, about the potential closing of the

Si View Pool and Community Center. It is reprinted in its entirety.

Dear Editor:

I want to thank the many Snoqualmie Valley residents who

have called or e-mailed me to oppose the potential closure of Si View Pool

and Community Center and other cuts to the King County Park System

budget. However, I believe there is some confusion about how King County

came to the point in which important park facilities could be lost, and I would

like to set the record straight.

The budget that I sent to the King County Council provided full

funding for Si View Pool and Community Center and the rest of the Park System

program. That proposed budget is a public document and can be viewed

online at http://www.metrokc.gov/budget/2001/proposed/.

I do not support the closure of Si View Pool and Community

Center, nor any cuts to the King County Park System budget.

The budget adopted by the King County Council cut $1.4 million

from the Park System and included another $500,000 in unfunded

mandates. These cuts would require the Park System to close Si View Pool

and Community Center, along with Preston Community Center,

Gold Creek Lodge, and Gracie Hansen Community Center. The cuts

would also force King County to reduce maintenance throughout the Park

System and eliminate its beach lifeguard program, all after-school, family

and summer playground programs and all environmental education

programs, including those for school children all over the county.

These cuts to the Park System are a major reason why I vetoed

the council's budget. The County Council passed a budget that was $54

million out of balance and did not adequately provide for public safety

and other basic services. The council must now work with me to draft a new

budget for King County. My intention is to make sure this new budget

funds all Park System programs, including Si View Pool and Community Center.

I am urging the King County Council to work with me on a

bipartisan basis to resolve this budget impasse so King County can continue

to provide the community with high-quality services and facilities, such

as Si View Pool and Community Center.

Sincerely,

Ron Sims

King County executive

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