Letters to the Editor

Writer doesn’t understand public infrastructure

All of Jan Richardson’s comments on SARC are excellent and correct (“Some perspectives on SARC clarified,” Letters to the Editor, Sequim Gazette, Aug. 6, page A-11).

Let’s look at SARC from yet another angle: Loren Howerter writes, “Taxpayers should not subsidize SARC” (Letters to the Editor, Sequim Gazette, July 30, page A-10), yet taxpayers made the decision to “pay for swimming” when they set up a special taxing district, like those which operate our schools, our libraries, our county hospital, our parks, our fire and police departments … and other essential public services. Were the voters of 1985 different from today’s?

Why did our citizens vote to tax themselves to build a swimming and exercise facility? I can only surmise, because I wasn’t here for the election, but I can imagine the argument went something like this: Swimming is the exercise that conduces best to all-round good health for virtually all age groups. When the big-muscle sports — baseball, basketball, football, even tennis — are not available to the average middle-aged person and beyond, nor to the tiny ones not yet ready for Little League, swimming is your sport. For the physically disadvantaged, there’s no exercise like moving those limbs in the water.

Also, it’s a good idea for every eighth-grader to learn to swim before moving on to high school. (I don’t think we could accommodate all those kids right now, but it’s a good argument for increasing SARC’s size.) The other exercise media at SARC contribute as well to healthy bodies and minds.

The biggest argument encompasses all these: A community with a swimming pool open to all is a first-class guarantee for a healthy community. These kinds of facilities in turn cut down our overall medical bills … and keeps us healthy taxpayers producing more revenue, longer, for other essentials.

If Mr. Howerter’s reasoning is correct, I know a lot of roads I don’t drive on; a survey might tell us which ones should be up for closure or privatization. And with elections we could try to agree on which ones to close, to save highway funds.

Are we a community or aren’t we?

James R. Huntley



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