I’ve read several letters from people all over the area complaining about paying parking fees at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, including cries about how wonderful the park is and that children shouldn’t be denied such a beautiful opportunity and moans about not being able to sit and enjoy the beauty of the area.
Well, I have some questions for all of you moaners and groaners. Where were you before the park was upgraded? Where were you when it was a state park and it was a little more rustic than it is now? The area was just as beautiful in its more rustic state, the water was just as blue, the sunsets just as awe inspiring, but few people took advantage of that beauty, so the state turned it over to the city of Mukilteo for the residents of Mukilteo to enjoy.
I have no problem with sharing our beautiful park with a few visitors at a time, but now you come in droves, and while the citizens of Mukilteo pay taxes for the upkeep of the park, you want it all for free. How is that fair? And before you say that paying is unfair to people on a limited income and everyone in Mukilteo is rich, I’ll inform you that I am not rich. I am living on a limited income, and once in a while, in the summer, I would like to go to the local park and enjoy the view and the park, too. But I can’t. Not in the summer time. Why? Because everyone from Monroe to Mukilteo and Arlington to Bothell and points beyond all head for our park. In a previous editorial it was noted that over 750,000 people enjoy the park each year, there are approximately 20,860 residents of Mukilteo paying for that park. That leaves 729,140 moochers. People who don’t pay one red cent for the upkeep of the park.
I have seen the park so full that boaters have parked their trucks and boat trailers on the lawn, tearing up the turf that the taxpayers of Mukilteo pay to repair. I have seen kids, from school districts as far away as Monroe jumping on the swings, piling on two and three kids at a time onto the swings and breaking them. These were not little kids and they were not local kids. Their teachers were down at the beach giving other students the chance to learn while these stray knuckleheads damaged the property that we, the citizens of Mukilteo, have to pay to repair. There were no parents or teachers monitoring the strays, so it was up to me to tell the kids to join their group and stay away from the playground.
So there it is. Mukilteo has a wonderful beautiful park and we want to enjoy it, but the only time we can enjoy it is during the winter when the rest of you aren’t around. We pay for the park for the entire year, so why should we be footing the bill for a park we can only enjoy part of the year? And why, if you want to enjoy it, can’t you help pay for the upkeep? Or better yet, why can’t you go to the parks in your town. Everett has Howarth Park, a beachfront park. But it’s hardly ever used. Yes, it’s a little more inconvenient, but it’s still beachfront and it’s sandy to boot. You all have parks in your area that you can enjoy, so why not do so?
I don’t come to your parks and take up parking and use or damage your property, so why do you have to all traipse over here. If you don’t want to help pay for the use of the park, don’t come. We won’t miss you, and we’ll enjoy being able to use our park for a change.
It’s very simple people. If 729,140 of you want to enjoy our park, than ante up your share and quit complaining.
Cynthia Ostermiller is a Mukilteo resident.