Gulch levy is a bargain
I know that this will probably be printed after the election, but still I felt some things needed to be said.
I have been a resident of Mukilteo since 1996. I will be honest and say that I have been one of the people who has occasionally trespassed on the property known as Japanese Gulch (although I hope that the fact that I have never done anything to hurt the property and, in fact, I have pulled quite a bit of garbage left by others off the property is considered before you condemn me).
I understand that a large portion of the Mukilteo population have not been back into the gulch since it is private property; that is the first thing I will point out as an argument against Charlie Pancerzewski’s statements against Proposition 1 in the voter’s pamphlet.
Yes, most of Mukilteo’s residents are law-abiding citizens that do not go onto private property, however, I don’t think that is representative of how many of us would use the gulch if it was purchased and established as parkland.
Anyway, Mr. Pancerzewski’s statement that the gulch is used “by a few Mukilteo and many NON-RESIDENT trail buffs” is based on… what? I love how he throws a statement out that he has absolutely no data to support (not to mention that he puts “non-resident” in bold and underlines it as if we should equate that tag as something horrible).
I won’t argue that there is a possibility that more non-residents use the gulch than residents of Mukilteo, after all, there are only about 20,500 residents in Mukilteo and about 2,671,600 residents in King and Snohomish counties combined (less the 20,500 from Mukilteo, of course).
In spite of that, with the plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities in our region, I doubt many out-of-area trail buffs are making their way up to Japanese Gulch unless they work in or near Mukilteo… and those people already support our community in many ways.
And I have to ask Mr. Pancerzewski, why does it bother you so much that someone enjoys something that we pay for? Do you cover the artwork in your house before guests come over? After all, they didn’t pay for that.
I don't know if you have ever left Mukilteo and enjoyed a park, museum or other facility that another community has paid for, but I know that I certainly have.
Look, I think the cost to me of about 17 cents a day is a bargain to protect what is an irreplaceable piece of wilderness. If others can enjoy something that only costs me 17 cents a day, I think that is even better.
And if those non-residents also drop some cash in the restaurants or bars down at our waterfront (or elsewhere in the Mukilteo area), even better. You may not think it is a big boost to the local economy, but it sure doesn’t hurt it.
Those restaurants and bars don’t stay in business from just the local business, while some people may not care if they closed, I’d rather have them there so we can all enjoy them if we choose (otherwise, we’d probably just have more condos on the waterfront).
Speaking of things we can enjoy if we choose, let me get back to the issue of the gulch. If we save this piece of wilderness, we all will (residents and those pesky NON-RESIDENTS) have the choice to enjoy it.
If not, we will never be able to replace it, we will lose a huge buffer between our community and Boeing and we could have acres of light industry bordering on many of our homes.
Which brings me to my last comments on Mr. Pancerzewski’s statements: Just because the Big Gulch trail system exists doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t save Japanese Gulch.
I’m glad the federal government back in the day didn’t take that stance with our national park system (“Hey, we’ve got two national parks, why do we need more?”).
I do believe that there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” but I don’t think we have reached the point in Mukilteo that we are saturated with wilderness trails… but I do feel we are at that point with light industrial parks (case in point… the QFC-Walgreens-Kamiak triangle).
And you are right, Japanese Gulch is not centrally located in Mukilteo, but it certainly is closer to us here in Mukilteo than all the non-residents that you claim use it.