Last column I shared about my visit to the Museum of History and Industry, MOHAI, specifically the display that dealt with the Great Depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt and creation of the Olmsted park system in Seattle.
Recently my husband and I saw the movie “Lincoln”. It’s out on DVD and rental. Buy it. Shop Bonney Lake first! I am not going to give you a movie review, but a little history about President Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination April 15, 1865. The movie is about Civil War, ending slavery and all the back room deals to get there.
A little background on Lincoln; he was raised by a poor family, was mostly self-educated, and became a country lawyer, a Whig Party leader before it dissolved, an Illinois state legislator, and had one term in the United States House of Representatives.
Lincoln got no support in the South. His election was the signal for seven southern slave states to declare their secession from the Union and formed the Confederacy. With the secession the Republicans had firm control of the Congress, but were not inclined to compromise or reconcile. Lincoln stated in his second inaugural address: “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the Nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”
The Republican Party first came to power in 1860 with the election of Lincoln to the Presidency. It was founded in the Northern states in 1854 by anti-slavery activists and modernizers. The Patriot faction came to reject taxes imposed by legislatures in which the tax-payer was not represented. Their motto: “no taxation without representation.” The group dissolved, but reinvented itself again in 2009 as Tea Party Patriots, an American political organization that promotes “fiscally responsible” activism.
Its mission is “to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. This group is a strong opponent of excess government spending and debt.
I would think that no taxation without representation would mean the voters should get to decide if they can afford the Lake Metropolitan Park District tax. The voter’s simply decide by reading the facts on the city website, the statements in the voter’s pamphlet statements and rebuttals, the websites and Facebook pages of each and of course the editorials and open debate in this newspaper and other local news outlets.
I read recently the local Patriot group “don’t know how it got this far,” meaning how the MPD got on the ballot.
Because your City Council wants you the voters to decide. Because the city wants families to discuss this over dinner. They want seniors at the senior center to chat about it. They want parents on the sidelines at softball and soccer games to talk it over. Because the City Council knows we have the right to vote on this. Because I personally don’t want someone I don’t know from Adam to decide whether I even get a chance to vote and say yes or no. It is our choice, not a family who is against government to turn this election into being about taxes, not parks.
By the way, Lincoln has been consistently ranked one of the greatest U.S. presidents. The others are George Washington (Independent), Franklin D. Roosevelt (mentioned earlier), Ronald Reagan (Republican) and Bill Clinton (Democrat).
Can we learn from our past? Yes. How can we know where we are going if we don’t know where we’ve been? Parks can only go so far without proper funding. Bonds allow for capital improvements only; without dedicated funding for the maintenance and ongoing upgrades facilities deteriorate. Seattle is an example. Bonney Lake has gone just about as far as it can with the help of volunteers and grants. Grants require matching funds; there has to be a revenue stream to meet debt service. Now is the time to take advantage of low rates. An MPD can provide more funding options and grant opportunities.
Recommendations: Vote yes for the MPD. Do it for you, your kids and their kids.
See the movie “Lincoln”.
I would recommend you go to a museum in Bonney Lake, but we do not have one. We need one, but that will be a different column. But, we do have the Greater Bonney Lake Historical Society (GBLHS) that meets the last Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the old City Hall (now the Public Works Center) 19306 Bonney Lake Blvd. They worked with the city to create and placed interpretive markers around town with historical data. They have a display case at the Justice City Hall in the lobby. GBLHS creates and sells historical calendars. One of their members Winona Jacobsen authored the book Bonney Lake’s Plateau and last fall they hosted the Milotte Film Festival. I use Winona’s book as a reference for this column.
To learn more about the Olmsted Legacy in Seattle, visit the Olmsted Interpretive Exhibit currently on display at the Volunteer Park Water Tower, located at the south entrance to Volunteer Park. And you must visit the new MOHAI.
One final quote from Abraham Lincoln:
“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”
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