Opinion

Letters to the editor

First Hill city land

I gather that the First Hill parcel is roughly half an acre. Let’s say that its sale fetches $1.5 million. The tax benefit to each of the 7,500+ households on Mercer Island would thus be a lump sum of less than $200 and less than $4 a year thereafter (based on a 2 percent assessment rate).

For my part, I would rather see that parcel turned into a park than to receive a one-time discount on my property taxes of less than 5 percent. Such a paltry sum will soon be forgotten, while a park may be enjoyed by all the citizens of Mercer Island for years to come.

A letter to the City Council

Approximately three weeks ago, I received an e-mail from the Boys & Girls Club telling parents that the Homestead Baseball fields were being closed for the season due to the city needing to perform “important maintenance” on these fields. At the time, I was flabbergasted that the city chose to do field maintenance during the middle of the Mercer Island Little League season, which disrupted schedules and made the fields unavailable to the Little League for the rest of the season. Though I could not understand why maintenance could not wait until the end of the season, I presumed that the fields must have been at serious risk due to the seeming urgency of the repairs.

Thus, imagine my surprise to drive past Homestead field this evening and see both baseball fields in use by men’s softball teams. Though it has been awhile since I played men’s softball, I remember playing many games at Homestead and it was rare to find a Mercer Island resident on the field as most players were from the Eastside. From what I hear, this is still true today, and you will find that few, if any, Island men are on the field at any given time.

As a Mercer Island resident and taxpayer, I am appalled that the city chose to do what now appears to be non-critical field maintenance at a time that disrupted MI Little League play and then turned around and permitted non-MI adult play. If the fields were in such a state of disrepair that this maintenance was truly needed, I wonder why the city is now letting adult play take place at all, much less take precedence over MI Little League play.

I would appreciate the Council looking into the policies governing the use of the fields that remove the children of MI taxpayers (and voters) off our fields in favor of non-MI adult play and the scheduling of field maintenance during seasonal play.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your reply.

Savanna Reid and National Geographic

Other than her parents and teachers, no one would have been more pleased about Savanna Reid’s National Geographic award than the Slaters, who gave their property to our city for a waterfront park. The bronze plaque at the park notes the 1991 dedication. What her award and their gift teach us is that the community benefit of any gifts we might put into the public domain are apt to be long-term (two decades for Savanna’s experience) in their outcomes.

PTSA thanks

The MIHS PTSA Staff Appreciation Committee would like to acknowledge and personally thank the following donors for their tremendous support and contributions in helping to make this year’s MIHS Staff Appreciation Week a great success. We thank the MIHS boys varsity baseball players and their families for donating Mariners tickets, and George Stokes/North end Shell Service Station, Suzy Skone/M.I. Auto Spa, Noah’s Bagels, and Starbucks Coffee for their contributions. Thank you to the many wonderful PTSA parent volunteers for generously offering your time and culinary contributions throughout the year.

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