Park board endorses school bond

On Feb. 10, the Vashon Park District board unanimously threw its support behind the Island’s upcoming school bond proposal.

The decision to take a stand on a contentious issue was unprecedented, but all five board members voted to do so. The board’s unified voice could be important in the weeks before the March 10 election, they noted.

“It’s a decision the community’s trying to make, and we want them to know our board encourages them to vote for it because it means more than just school activities,” said park board chair Mike Collins. “It also involves more community activities.”

The park district works collaboratively with Vashon Island School District so clubs and groups not affiliated with the district can use school facilities.

The park district pays $45,000 each year to help maintain school fields and buildings that community members use for park programs, said David Hackett, a member of the park board.

Park programs such as Vashon Island Junior Basketball, Vashon Isand Soccer Club and Vashon Junior Civic Ballet all use school district facilities for practices, games or performances — thanks to the agreement between parks and schools.

Because of this intertwining of programs and facilities, endorsing the bond was an obvious choice for the park board, Collins said.

“We are codependent on school facilities,” he said. “It was a unique situation and warranted our support.”

Collins said passage of the school bond would enable Vashon Park District to continue providing its current programs, but “hopefully in an enhanced environment.”

“We feel the school bond is a vital part of the community, and we need it for a healthy community,” he said.

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