Elections 2013: Parks/Rec District 1 (SARC), Commissioner Position No. 2

Incumbent Frank Pickering is facing off with newcomer Adam Sullivan for the Parks/Rec District 1 (SARC), Commissioner Position No. 2.
Pickering responded to our survey questions; Sullivan did not return phone calls or emails.



1) Accurate or not, there is a perception among many that SARC is a place that only caters to older, wealthier clients. What can you do to change that perception?

The board and the new executive director are already moving to address this issue. SARC was built by the community, paid for by the taxpayers for use by the community. As an elected official I want to ensure that SARC operates to best serve the needs of everyone in our community while continuing to fully support long time users.
SARC must expand its customer base and more fully utilize its facility. SARC is adding programs to draw in new patrons. New offerings already in the works such as the Family Nights starting in October are targeting younger families. Community outreach programs and new classes that utilize the facility outside of peak hours will more efficiently utilize the existing facility and will bring in new users. Our new Executive Director is reaching out to many organizations, individuals and companies to bring in new members from the whole community, particularly focusing on children and teens and I fully support his efforts.

2) Would you support a new levy to provide additional funding for SARC? Why or why not?

For the last 13 years SARC has operated with no new public money whatsoever. No similar facility tries to exist solely on entry fees as SARC currently does, and this situation is not sustainable in the long run. SARC’s facility is over 25 years old, and repairs are an increasingly large portion of the budget. We are pursuing facility upgrades that will save operating expenses through systems that save energy. Any levy should be earmarked to pay for needed maintenance and facility upgrades and repairs.
There are multiple ways of increasing funding for this publicly owned facility, and I believe we should pursue them all. Additional avenues, such as energy savings, grants and planned giving should be pursued, as well as new programs which expand the user base. In my business experience I have found that improving offerings for your customers has always improved financial performance.



3) Would you support joint operation of the facility by another entity such as the City of Sequim?

SARC’s official base area is the boundaries of the Sequim School District. Any future partnership with local governments needs to recognize that our base extends far beyond the city limits of Sequim. This focus does not, however, mean that we should not pursue many avenues of cooperation with the City of Sequim, Clallam County or other local organizations.
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