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Seattle Mayor Promises Better Facilities, More Accountability With New Park District


As the city of Seattle prepares to put in place its new voter-approved park district, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says citizens can expect both better facilities and more accountability. 

Murray said he knows Proposition 1 divided parks supporters. Many opposed the measure, saying it gives the city too much taxing authority.

As the city sets up the park district’s new protocol, the mayor said, the city will also assemble a citizens’ panel, which he promised will comprise of a diverse group “including folks that did not support us in the last ballot measure, but have had a history of supporting parks, so that we can unite and we can move forward.”

Murray also said he’ll be rolling out a new citywide system of metrics to measure Seattle’s services and improve accountability. The system, which will be modeled after Boston’s, will be in place as the city sets up the new taxing authority that will generate nearly $50 million a year for the maintenance and operation of parks.

“What you’ll see are community centers that are renovated, park grounds that are kept up and renovated, community programs that have not been in place in those community centers come back. It’s a pretty big lift, but I think we’re going to impress the folks in this city with what we can do,” he said.

It will take several months before the new district is up and running. Average Seattle homeowners can expect a property tax increase ranging from $70 to $200 more per year.  

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to