Rumors of the City Council and City Manager wanting to sell off the Recreation Center and other city parks have been lingering throughout the city for the last month. Where these rumors came from and validity of them has been questioned.
All of this came to a head at the February 11 Parks and Rec Board meeting. Now understand that these meetings typically have 3-5 citizens sitting in the audience. So when 40-50 people were in attendance you knew something was amiss. Add in the fact that some of Puyallup politics most dubious and selfish people, Kathy Turner and Nicole Martineau, were present and you can get the picture of where this one was headed.
The agenda called for a presentation by city staff informing the board that the City Manager had a committee conduct a study of the parks and parks facilities. The staff was to invite the board to attend the February 19 City Council meeting where the presentation of the study would be shared with the council and the public. This presentation will be the first time the council members have seen the study and know what the City Manager is recommending. So, the fact that certain people are perpetuating rumors of an imminent sale of city parks is laughable.
What’s not laughable is the way they have chosen to spread these rumors. Frequent visitors of both the Activity Center and Recreation Center are passionate about those facilities and the programs offered through them. So when they heard that “the council and city manager were going to sell them” they became concerned and upset, understandably. And that is exactly what the people who have started the rumors wanted. They wanted to prey on the emotions of the people who use the facilities to build distrust with the current Council and City Manager.
In addition to Turner and Martineau, many of their supporters were present, including council members Kent Boyle and John Palmer. When Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Martineau attacked the current council and furthered rumors of parks closing and buildings being torn down, neither of them stood up to tell the public that the council has NEVER received this information from the City Manager or the investigating committee. Mr. Boyle kept those rumor fires burning by implying eminent doom and repeated that there were rumors from within as to the demise of the current parks’ structure.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Boyle took part in promoting the hysteria when he knew there was no information to back up Mrs. Turner’s rumors. It is embarrassing to see Mrs. Martineau’s bitterness over her lost election result in her appearance at advisory board meetings to take shots at the current council. It is sad to see former council member Kathy Turner show up at events to proclaim her greatness and repeat her past great accomplishments, through her own distorted view. Other past council members have moved on, it is pathetic that she cannot.
Since Council Member Boyle chose not to calm the public and stop the rumors, we will. The City Council has no idea what will be presented to them on Tuesday night. Maybe the City Manager will recommend selling city property. Maybe he won’t. If he doesn’t, there are going to be a lot of people looking silly. Come to the meeting on February 19 and hear the presentation for yourself. Until then, don’t believe everything you hear from people wearing gloves.