Past park commissioners tell board they want to help

Two former Vashon Park District commissioners have written a letter to the current set of commissioners saying they’d like to pore over the current budget, review all outstanding debt and help the agency craft its 2013 spending plan.

Truman O’Brien and Carol Ireland McLean, who served on the park board about a decade ago, co-signed the letter and emailed it to the five current commissioners Monday. The two would also work with other Islanders — including CC Stone and Hilary Emmer — to garner input from user groups about their 2013 budget needs, according to the letter.

O’Brien said he and McLean drafted the letter after a meeting at Emmer’s house last week, where they discussed ways they could help the park district. They did so, he said, because the park district board, at a meeting last month, asked for input and support from the community.

“We made the offer because they asked for help,” O’Brien said. “We said, ‘OK, before we can help we need all the data.’”

Two park commissioners — chair Bill Ameling and David Hackett — responded Monday night, declining the offer but saying the were open to their input.

“I don’t see any need for the elected board to cede authority or put you in a place (of) special authority over the park district,” Hackett wrote in an email.

Noting that O’Brien and McLean “have a lot of support from the horse association,” Hackett added, “That is not a terribly large or representative group of islanders.”

Ameling, also in an email, said he didn’t see any support for O’Brien and McLean’s proposal from the board. “This board is up to taking care of business,” he added.

O’Brien said he was disappointed but not surprised by the response. McLean said she didn’t want the board to feel defensive. “I’m not the least bit interested in pointing the finger,” she said.


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