Parks and recreation deserve a post-election look

Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 17, 2005 at 11:23 p.m.
Now that the election is over, it is time for those that are serious about parks and recreation to take action.
The leaders of the failed tax should take the high road and establish a nonprofit corporation to accomplish their recreational goal. If each of the 51,414 Alachua County residents who voted for the tax would simply contribute $100 - less than $2 per week - more than $5 million could be raised.
Of course, it would be even more progressive if the leaders of the proposed tax would set a good example by contributing much more.
The Gainesville and Alachua County Chamber of Commerce, builders and realtors should contribute a minimum of $25,000 per association and staff to organize the project.
Some of the voters that are not earning a living wage will not have the means to contribute, but I am sure that many voters will contribute more than their fair share, thus compensating for those that are less fortunate.
An annual fund-raiser with donor recognition levels would allow individuals and corporations to show good will, thus generating a great deal of capital.
I would recommend charging a user fee for the parks, but that might be construed as unfair and discriminatory in Alachua County.
Once the not-for-profit organization has been established, I will gladly contribute my overtaxed dollars, provided that one of the parks is an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico for scuba divers and fishermen - that is, after all, my recreation.
Lloyd W. Bailey Jr., Gainesville

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