SFR: State Park Blackmail

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by DimeBrite, May 16, 2009.

  1. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    Holy shit Trent, it's like you've known me all my life! You got all that from a few sentences on a web forum? You're like a Carnac but with more boring insults.

    Take some time out from making incorrect assumptions about people and read what you are replying to. I never said anything about WFF members being a majority of something. I said that a majority of the state doesn't put parks at the same level as we on this forum do. You think that the majority of voters put parks up there with health/education services and I'm the "misled" one? Parks are important in washington state, no doubt. But they aren't that important when it comes to budget cutting time. Universities are having their budgets slashed and tuition raised, elementary schools are laying off teachers and staff, thousands of people are being kicked off Basic Health (which you've got to be low-income to be on anyway), you want to tell me that these people are standing around saying "by all means, cut my job but let's not cut any of that park budget." The fact that the parks are even getting a chance to pay for themselves via this sort of fee is a testament to how much people care about parks in washington. But given the economic slowdown, you'd still have a hard time finding a majority of people that wouldn't rather see some parks closed and that money go to their local school district.

    Yeah, politicians waste money. Congress screwed up and it sucks. As far as I'm concerned, 100 congressmen (red or blue) at the bottom of the ocean is "a good start" as the joke goes. But with a $4+ billion difference between what the state thought it had to spend and what it now appears the state will get, your baseless accusations and insults are about as useful as shouting at the rain to get it to stop. The horse is out of the barn. It doesn't matter what the politicians did in the past because in the present we don't have any money.

    Keep driving that train Trent. It just won't take you to nice parks or that missing $52 million.
     
  2. bugboy9

    bugboy9 Member

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    Hey, hey, heeeeyyyy. Easy on Josh. I think he makes a lot of sense. Trent, this state and many others are in financial disarray. If you think you can do a better job, why don't you run for office? Although, maybe you should learn how to spell before you do that.

    Dude, you can't use these words "tollorate incompitance" if you can't spell it right. It just cancels each other out if you do.

    By the way, I believe it is always better to give then to receive. I'll do my part whether it's for roads, parks, etc.

    Peace,

    Matt
     
  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Everyone wants something for nothing. Pay the damn five bucks if you are a user of the parks or not. We're bitching about the use of some pristine open space that can be used for a variety of purposes, camping, hiking, bike trails, wildlife watching and beach access. Five bucks for that. Count me in. If you don't want to pay the fees our state sets up, don't by either not using them or moving somewhere that offers something for nothing. Good luck finding that though, most states will find some way to "blackmail" you.
     
  4. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

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    I didn't say or suggest the Parks were on the same level as police/fire, etc. in my first post and you clearly didn't understand what I said. Washington State has one of the higher tax burdens in the country and we continue to climb nigher on the ladder. The general fund should be able to cover the Parks costs. You can't just slough off a $9B deficit to a bad economy alone. And despite what you see on the news not every State has budgetary problems. There are many States that aren't running a deficit, unfortunately Washington isn't one of them. If the legislators and the govenor can't find the money, then fine shut them down. But they won't make the hard decisions to make it work. Because the economy is in tough shape, more people are staying closer to home and wanting to use those parks. Now is not the time to cut off funding for the parks or try to extract more from the taxpayers. There maybe those who want the Park users to poney up the $5 but if that's how it's going to work, I want to see those who drive I-405 poney up for their useage too as I might drive a couple mile stretch of that road once or twice a year at best. The tens of millions of dollars expended on fancy sound barriers alone the last couple years alone could have fully floated the Parks budget. And again the ferries users don't pay anywhere close to the actual cost of the operation of the ferries and are heavily subsidized. Let these folks pay their full way too before reaching in my pocket because I want to use a park.
     
  5. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    You are the one who brought up the concept of politicians cutting "essential services" in the context of a conversation about the parks systems budget problems. Why would you bring that point up if you weren't calling the parks an "essential service"? It would have no bearing on the conversation otherwise.

    The number of states NOT facing budget shortfalls for this fiscal year and/or next is....three. Montana, N. Dakota, and Wyoming. The 47 other states are all in the same boat as Washington. Combined budget gaps (between the states) for the remainder of this fiscal year and state fiscal years 2010 and 2011 are estimated to total more than $350 billion. So I'd say Washington state has some good company of every political stripe. Read all about it:

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711

    While I don't agree with it, this is a legitimate stance to take. I think the three main positions on this issue are:

    • Everybody pays their share no matter how much they use the resource.
    • Only the users pay and they pay exactly what it costs.
    • If there's no money, close the parks down.

    However, every one of those is a horrible landmine for users, taxpayers, and politicians. So, like most things, the answer is probably in the middle. Users pay some, the general population pays some, and perhaps some underused parks or services are closed. The $5 tab thing is just one aspect of that.
     
  6. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

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  7. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    I think it is a given that all of us here love state parks and will be contributing the $5 per car when its time to register (I will be). That's really not the point here.

    This is the point: Gregoire is hiding behind our benevolent nature as state park loving folks to bail her out of using her authority to raise a fee or tax to prevent their closure. The governor won't make the decision to fund the parks with involuntary user fees. Instead she threatens to close or sell them off, and we come running right on cue with $5 bills to save them. Gregoire knows that the parks won't be closed or sold, because the she knows the people of Washington respond to this blackmail tactic when it comes to popular programs. The governor and the legislature exacerbated the budget crisis by overspending from 2004-2008, with no preparation for a recession. To make up for this blunder she should at least have the political courage to institute direct user fees to keep them open (not this silly voluntary car registration tax feel good crap). Leadership is the point.
     
  8. cliffo56

    cliffo56 TJ

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    $5.00 comes out to about 1.3 cents a day.....I'd rather pay to "possibly" keep the parks open, than not and "probably" see them closed......
     
  9. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    First thing is, under the new plan you check the box to not pay the $5. If you do nothing the fee/tax is automatically charged. That gives the state a stable funding base. I believe that the funds will go to a dedicated account for the parks rather than to the general fund and that's a good thing.

    Second point is more about the decision to close the parks in the first place. I agree that how the state and federal gov't spends our money needs to be changed ( subsidies to the oil and gas industry, farm subsidies to mega corporations especially) but when the shit hits the fan like it has in the past year you have to expect cuts in programs that aren't essential. Health care and schools and public safety are higher priorities than parks, period. I don't like it but that's the reality. To those who choose to rail against the governor about not controlling spending, you can't have it both ways. She chose to cut spending on your pet project. So suck it up I say or you're just being a hypocrite. I don't like the negative check off system but it's a lot better than closing the parks ( even though they still may close or transfer some of them). The state does need to improve the operational efficiency of state parks. A regional maintenance crew could cut the grass etc. for a large number of parks in it's area rather than having the ranger at each station have to do it.

    Cheers,

    JR
     
  10. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    Josh has illustrated the point of the whole public budget snafu. This is dull. so I apologize in advance if it sounds like I'm talking down to ANYONE.

    Aside from minor user fees, this state is financed by sales tax. Like those Americans who live on monthly income and credit, the state projects how much it will "earn" for the year, roughly 8% of all goods and services sold in the fiscal year. Knowing what they have to work with, mandates are established, telling managers how many staff to hire, how much gas they'll buy and on and on. We build expectations and comfort with a level of service, which we naturally take for granted and expect. Then, just like a family that loses a wage earner, income we've always taken for granted evaporates. Then you've got choices of what bill to pay. Power or the doctor? Well, the doctor can't shut my blood off, so we pay for electricity. The government didn't lose money it already had, like at a casino, they lost the historical funding source for programs already in existence.

    Unfortunately, the government has been doing the same thing the citizens have, over extending, falsifying income, and tacking on the pork. The rest of the analogy involves a population that thought it "deserved" granite counter tops, giant televisions, SUV's and 3500 square foot homes on a light beer income. I'm disgusted by how foolishly we've borrowed ourselves into such a mess, but scarcely surprised that our elected officials have been running public business just like their constituents manage their personal finances. Can we hold these people to a higher standard than ourselves? I mean really, not ideologically.

    You think paying $5 for state parks sucks? Wait until our traditional friends like China, Japan and Germany call in the zillions of $ in bonds we've borrowed to buy fuel from the Saudis so we can blow up the Iraqis.

    Sorry about that last one, once I start ranting it's like eating peanuts.
     
  11. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    One more time: The complaint isn't about paying the $5 fee. It is about the govenor's lack of will to have a mandatory user fee to pay for the parks she left in the lurch via her poor budgeting skills.
     
  12. CovingtonFly

    CovingtonFly B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again

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    If Dino won we wouldn't be in this holy hell of mess!!!!!
    He would have balanced the budget, saved our souls and there's no way the queers would every be able to marry eachother! Forget the parks we need to take care of the really important stuff :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  13. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

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    Meanwhile Gregwhore and co. laid off 240 teachers in the area..........

    That chapps my ass 10x more than paying an extra 5$ a year to use a state park.
     
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    FWIW, my wife just gave me the go ahead for planning an long weekend outing. Her MBA course work will be done in time for the fun. The weather looks promising and there is not a single campsite for tents or trailers in the entire state system. The exception is the handful of ADA sites that I don't qualify for and the handful of non-reservable sites that the park keeps vacant to rotate site usage. Seems there are enough using the resource to find a way to fund the continued use. For us it will be day use locations because of our last minute planning, such is my life.
     
  15. Fred Aldridge

    Fred Aldridge Member

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    I for one hope the new plan works. It's miles better than the last attempt to save the parks with $5 collection boxes at every Sate Park. I eventually bought the $50 Season Pass sticker to put on my windshield, and would do so again if that's what it takes. It does cost a lot of money to keep everything running, not just the parks, and giving those that use them a chance to save them with next to nothing out of our pockets is a gift in my mind.

    Fred