Bend Parks & Rec Bond 9-86 proposes many fine recreational opportunities that are “nice-to-have” but in this economy, and with critical water, sewerage and school obligations, not essential for Bend. I recommend that Bend citizens vote against the bill. Alternatively, BPRD should then reprioritize, redefine some projects and then resubmit the bond as a set of smaller proposals that will allow voters a fair evaluation of each project.For example, the proposed purchase of three properties in the North Deschutes Canyon, adjacent to BPRD- owned Gopher Gulch, includes the 28-acre “Jeffers property.” For approximately $3.5 million, BPRD plans to purchase this charming house and barn on acreage with a great view of the canyon. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to simply purchase a right of way in which to cross the river and extend the DR trail?
The proposed ice rink is also a “nice-to-have,” but at what cost? There is a balance point here—why should all Bend voters pay for a small population of skaters on prime real estate in an area that is still under consideration for the proposed university extension?
Vote against BPRD 9-86. BPRD, reprioritize and resubmit to voters.
—David C. White