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Twispted

Kiss my Discovery Pass

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We've done this to ourselves - its easy to argue that the government is inefficient, but that's not the case. We're demanding the government provide more services for more people with less money, and we're hitting the wall of what's possible.

 

 

When state/county/metro taxpayers get tired of the AFSCME/SEIU/WEA extortion racket and balk at the ballot box, Olympia (D) always seems ready to retaliate with its two favorite bludgeons: public parks, and EMS. Kind of funny how these are the very things the taxpayers always overwhelmingly support via levies, props, etc. Kind of a hostage situation, IMO.

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"When state/county/metro taxpayers get tired of the AFSCME/SEIU/WEA extortion racket and balk at the ballot box"

 

Collective bargaining = extortion?

 

Is that your position Fairweather?

 

 

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"When state/county/metro taxpayers get tired of the AFSCME/SEIU/WEA extortion racket and balk at the ballot box"

 

Collective bargaining = extortion?

 

Is that your position Fairweather?

 

 

In the case of public employee unions, yes. Absolutely. But this is off-topic.

 

I was at a state park this afternoon and the new fee box was up. It will be interesting to see if public use of state lands/parks goes down. If not, well, then the people have spoken. Likewise if they stay away. I, for one, won't pay this new ransom if it turns out to be more than just a supplement to the existing parks budget. Does anyone really believe that the revenue generated by this fee won't be subtracted from future outlays?

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For the first time in my life I sent my state representatives a note; I didn't focus on how much I hate these very limited directed user fees. I seriously doubt they generate significant revenue or useful services, but figured I wouldn't waste my and their time on a done deal. I focused on using lack of notification as means to generate revenue and no provisions, at least that I could find, for SAR organizations who use state land regularly for training and education. I'm sure their/our efforts save the tax payers more than our $30 fee. I know the FS has threatened to ticket individuals who didn't have a pass and were part of an official volunteer organization training (DEM number). They only got out of the ticket by driving from the training site to get a permit and then returning (Buck Creek Trailhead, near HWY 410).

 

I'm sure I wasted my time, but who needs sleep anyways.

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From what I've seen, people park just outside the fee area so you get a bunch of cars on the road instead of in the parking lot.

 

Maybe this has been answered, but don't you have to provide amenities to start charging fees? I'm thinking of X38 Far side, which is at the edge of Ollallie State Park. There is no rest room, no trash can, no trail maintainance, no water. The only thing new is parking lines and a sign about the permit. The irony is that they don't even own or control the land that people are accessing: the Far Side trails and climbing areas are on BLM land.

 

So what will the revenues be used for if not amenities that benefit users?

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"Collective bargaining = extortion?"

"In the case of public employee unions, yes. Absolutely."

 

Fairweather, thanks for the clarification. Agreed, it is off topic, but that's about all I'd agree on. I wanted to make sure of where you were coming from on this. For future reference. Might be a good topic for spray forum though which is where this thread might be headed come to think of it...

 

campwire: I applaud your effort, against your better judgement, to contact your elected representatives on this, or any, issue. It is a very important element of how our representative government is supposed to work. If not representative government, what then?

 

Of course, funding State services is the larger related issue here. It appears open parks have, sadly, become an amenity, an extra, given the current State budget crisis. That is the reality. We the people, feel entitled to "our" parks. Not a bad thing IMO, but it is a bit more complicated these days. An alternative example would be Minnesota's State parks I suppose. They are closed along with State government. Raise revenue? NO. Cut services? NO. "Elected representatives" can't agree on a budget deficit solution there. Tens of thousands of "wicked extortionists" are in their homes without pay. While I realize that may not make some of you sad, it does me. Literally shutting down State government has become an alternative, albeit one of the less pallatable alternatives to a thing like a user fee. You can't even use a rest stop in that State to take a shit anymore, they're closed... In Washington at least they agreed on a budget deficit solution, which yes, included a lousy $30/year user fee for parking at State parks...

 

My bottom line is that user fees are better than the Minnesota alternative. For now, we have access to our parks at least. We may find that changing in the near future if the user fee supplement does not work as it is intended.

 

And we work our way back full circle to mattp's question, "what else can they do?"

 

d

 

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We the people, feel entitled to "our" parks. Not a bad thing IMO, but it is a bit more complicated these days

 

The parks are not "our" parks, they truly are in fact our parks. And we feel entitled to them, because we own them, lock, stock and barrel.

 

I don't "feel entitled" to walk in my front yard. There is no entitlement involved. It's ownership

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Well time to go volunteer for some trail work and get me a discovery pass.

I like the Washington Trails Association-Volunteer organization for trail maintenance. Isn't this what the Discovery Pass should pay for?

 

Sigh

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Well time to go volunteer for some trail work and get me a discovery pass.

I like the Washington Trails Association-Volunteer organization for trail maintenance. Isn't this what the Discovery Pass should pay for?

 

Sigh

 

Exactly. Not only do we pay fees, but don't get shit for them. Trail maintenance work is done by volunteers.

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Not only do we pay fees, but don't get shit for them. Trail maintenance work is done by volunteers.

Bottom line is WSP rangers and staff had already been working for years with half the budget they needed to keep up with all the maintenance and policing demands placed on them, and that was before the current fiscal crisis. Without this pass revenue a lot more parks would be closed right now due to ranger and staff laysoffs.

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"The parks are not "our" parks, they truly are in fact our parks."

 

Well. Ok. I stand corrected??

 

haha

 

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I believe the volunteers make up for some of the budget gaps, but there is a cost to everything requiring either employees, contractors, or supplies. Outhouses don't just build and clean themselves for free for example.

 

I don't like the pass at all. How do you fund the area without either a tax or user fee I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of is arguing about it online induces sprayfests.

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Well time to go volunteer for some trail work and get me a discovery pass.

I like the Washington Trails Association-Volunteer organization for trail maintenance.

 

What a great Idea. Supporting the parks with dollars and time... I've done volunteer work for the WTA, it's a great organization. It was hard work but a lot of fun too. I plan to put in more time with them in the future.

 

Brilliant!

 

d

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I believe the volunteers make up for some of the budget gaps, but there is a cost to everything requiring either employees, contractors, or supplies. Outhouses don't just build and clean themselves for free for example.

 

Like at Vantage, where you had to pay for a parking permit but there was no outhouse that was serviced? Or TH's that have no outhouse? Or one that is not stocked with TP? This scam has been going on a lot longer than the current budget "crisis". It's all a shell game where things go unfunded that the legislature can get away with unfunding so they can nickle and dime with fees.

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We should expect one hell of a new outhouse at the Mount Si trailhead then, eh? 10.00 x full parking lot x number of turns per day x weekends/yr - cost of enforcing said policy = $$$$. I can almost understand this at the big state parks with programs/improvements--but Mount Si? Really?? And why not charge ped/bike users too? I don't get it.

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What a great Idea. Supporting the parks with dollars and time... I've done volunteer work for the WTA, it's a great organization. It was hard work but a lot of fun too. I plan to put in more time with them in the future.

 

Brilliant!

 

d

 

From last summer...

 

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/07/26/1278506/union-takes-aimbrat-pierce-countybrpark.html

 

 

 

Teamsters Union takes aim

at Pierce County park volunteers

 

A union has filed a complaint with the state alleging that Pierce County edged union employees out of hours and pay by allowing non-union workers and volunteers to do park maintenance work.

 

The 8-page complaint filed by Teamsters Local Union 117 also says the county went around the union by talking directly to workers about the potential closure of Sprinker Recreation Center and employee layoffs that might have ensued.

 

The complaint alleges that the county broke state law that governs labor practices.

 

The (county's) actions have had the effect of chilling union activity and undermining support for the union, the complaint says.

 

It was sent this month to the state Public Employment Relations Commission, or PERC.

 

The county declined to talk about specifics of the complaint, although Parks & Recreation Director Kathy Kravit-Smith said she would not intentionally violate a union contract.

 

I would never do anything contrary to the contractual arrangement, she said.

 

PERC issued a preliminary ruling Thursday, that there could be a fair labor practice violation. Preliminary rulings don't address the validity of claims; that comes later, said Cathleen Callahan, PERC executive director.

 

The next step is for the county to respond, which must happen within 21 days of the preliminary ruling. Teamsters Local Union 117 represents 195 county employees, including park maintenance workers.

 

The complaint says the county:

 

•Scheduled non-union temporary workers for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday in January, even though union employees were willing to work overtime and in the past had right of first refusal.

 

•Allowed non-union workers, including those doing court-ordered community service, to do maintenance work during non-holiday hours without giving the union the chance to negotiate.

 

•Allowed non-union volunteers to do maintenance work at Gonyea and Dawson parks, which was previously done by union employees, without giving the union the chance to negotiate.

 

* Went around the union by holding a meeting in June directly with workers to discuss the potential closure of Sprinker Recreation Center. Workers were told the closure could result in up to six layoffs, according to the complaint. Sprinker no longer faces closure because the Pierce County Council has agreed to spend $6.1 million to repair the aging recreation center in Spanaway.

 

In recent months, budget cuts have prompted the county to reduce maintenance at several parks, including Gonyea on 10th Avenue South and Dawson on 90th Street East. Kravit-Smith said the budget to hire extra workers to help with maintenance has dropped more than $240,000 since 2008.

 

Community members have stepped up to help through the Adopt-a-Park program. People living near Dawson Park, for example, have mowed the grass and picked up garbage.

 

The program has been around for 16 years and is included in county code, Kravit-Smith said.

 

The county has other programs that use volunteers, including one in which they serve as park hosts, a task that includes some maintenance work, Kravit-Smith said. That program also has been around for years, she said.

 

The County Council recently restored $80,000 in park money, which will go toward re-opening Dawson and Gonyea parks.

 

Paul Zilly, a spokesman for Teamsters Local Union 117, said the union doesn't oppose community programs, but does want to ensure its workers aren't pushed out of hours or jobs.

 

Zilly said Teamsters and county officials are scheduled to meet this week.

 

 

 

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So, how about forming a volunteer's union? That way, they wouldn't be able to complain about "non-union volunteers" doing maintenance work. The newly unionized volunteers could immediately go on strike until they secure a collective agreement guaranteeing their right to work for free. Once that agreement was in place, the Teamsters would have to support them because of all that "solidarity forever" business, right?

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Really?? And why not charge ped/bike users too? I don't get it.

 

Goddamnit! Don't say that out loud, their listening! :lmao:

 

 

Ten dollars a car to park at Mount Si. And a dollar a head ( children under two free) to hike up Mount Si.

 

Hiking down is of course, free.

 

Until after the elections

Edited by num1mc

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Perhaps outhouses are a bad or hot button example. There are other items that cost money that volunteering can't replace. In most cases volunteers need supervision by paid employees.

 

 

 

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I hate the whole idea of user fees for public lands, because I think public means "Public" -- or at least it should. But I still don't see a lot of discussion here about what may be the alternatives. Close all of them? Pay taxes? Something else besides user fees?

 

We can argue about whether public employees' unions are a good idea in another thread, perhaps, but here it seems relevant to note that the Discover Pass is a raw deal but I'll buy one and I wonder: do those of you who talk about how the government will only waste the money have another idea how to fund public lands management and maintenance?

 

To borrow a phrase from another political context: freedom isn't free. Public freedom to enjoy public lands actually costs money.

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To borrow a phrase from another political context: freedom isn't free. Public freedom to enjoy public lands actually costs money.

 

Well, what is the price tag for freedom Matt? Give us the number. Cause if you want to write blank checks, plan on giving it all over to the insatiable .gov.

 

http://www.nwcitizen.com/entry/2009/12/wa-state-government-spending

 

For myself, I was curious what the last 50 years of Washington government spending per person looked like, and was unable to find it. Perhaps you'll have better luck, and I really do want to know what the dollar cost is for freedom. I'll pay it, no shit, just give me the number. If you find that they gov is spending less per person than previous years, I will run right out an buy my pass and not complain again. Really. Let me know, I'm curious.

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http://www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/WM/Documents/Publications/BudgetGuides/2011/2011CGTBFinal%28rev%29.pdf

 

 

 

WA State 2009-11 All Budgeted Expenditures*

(Dollars in Billions)

Human Services $26.7

Public Schools $17.0

Higher Education $10.5

Transportation $8.0

Governmental Operations $5.7

Natural Resources $3.3

Debt Service/Other $3.6

 

 

2009-11 Sources of Revenue

(Dollars in Billions)

Taxes $30.3

Federal & Other Grants 22.6

Licenses, Permits, & Charges for Services 12.6

Borrowing 6.6

Other Sources (including Transfers) 1.9

 

 

 

 

 

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