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'We want progressive growth, and we are willing to pay for it'

Recently, I received a pamphlet that stated several compelling arguments to vote against Measure 3–432. I appreciated this information and contemplated whether the sign in my front yard in support of the recreation center was put up in haste without really thinking things through.

Does paying more taxes for a recreation facility create enough benefit to support this? And, what about our community? The West Linn recreation center is going to cost a lot of money. If we are going to pay for it, I want a return on investment. I want a profitable community hub with something for everyone.

We’ve been told the city conducted extensive research on the viability of the proposed facility and developed a business model that will be effective and successful. There are aquatic only centers that are not financially sustainable, such as the North Clackamas Aquatic Center. But there are also successful operations that offer more than just aquatics. I understand that the rec center will operate at a loss initially, but don't most new businesses, even really successful ones? There is always a certain amount of risk involved when starting a new business, but when the city decides that the benefits outweigh the risks enough to let us vote on it, I'm going to seriously consider it.

Our property taxes are high, no question about that. But I’m interested in anything that shows strong potential to increase our property value. I believe this new facility will speed the recovery of house values for those who bought before the crash and return steady growth to others.

As a community we strive to “keep things local.” We’re a bedroom community due to limited services. I find this particularly true in the area of indoor family fitness. I can't deny that having a fun pool and recreation center down the street will probably keep us in town more, which equals spending more time and money in town and helping to stimulate our local economy.

It's important to note that this community center will not just be for families with children. Mature members of our community will also benefit from utilizing the pool and other fitness classes. I want it to be for everyone, not a small niche in our community.

Therefore, I have concluded that I don't mind paying a little extra on my taxes. If I'm going to spend it, I want a lot of bang for my buck. The new West Linn recreation center has enough promise to increase property values, increase opportunities to keep money in our community and create local jobs. We need all of these things.

I appreciate that I live in a community and neighborhood where we are respectful of each other despite our differences of opinion. I am thankful that we live in a country where we can vote on making decisions about our community and how we spend our money.

I speak only for my own family and I can tell you that my husband and I will be voting yes for the recreation center. We want West Linn to continue to be one of the most desirable towns to live in the Portland metro area. We want progressive growth, and we are willing to pay for it. I'll leave that sign up in my yard.

Melinda Doblie is a West Linn resident.




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