Ahead of the August 3 primary election, The Gateway asked three primary candidates for Key Peninsula Park Commission to share their reasons for running for office. One did not submit a statement, but we have excerpted elements from his statement for the Pierce County Voter’s Guide. The candidates’ statements have been lightly edited for length, but not otherwise changed or vetted.
Key Peninsula Metropolitan Park District, Position 2
What’s always been interesting to me is the number of local races where the incumbents often run unopposed. As a detail-oriented design professional who has spent his career in the parks and recreation industry and the past six years serving the District as Commissioner, I’ve striven to apply my passion, dedication, knowledge, and experience as a landscape architect to help guide our District as we expand our parks facilities that we all enjoy.
I make it a point to maintain cordial, professional, and non-partisan interactions when it comes to advocating and collaborating for parks and recreation development with officials at all levels of government. The goal should always be to take direction from our District’s Comprehensive Plan, which outlines the needs and concerns of our constituents as they pertain to our existing and desired parks and recreation inventory and how best to focus limited resources responsibly and equitably to deliver the most benefit for our citizens.
As commissioners, our duty is to understand the history and laws that pertain to governing the District and actively, collaboratively, and respectfully participate in its governance with the other commissioners to determine levels of service desired and funding necessary to meet those needs; establish goals and policies; approve procedures and budgets; and represent all citizens. I have no agenda other than listening to my constituent’s needs and concerns and working to create harmonious solutions that respect everyone’s opinion.
To the voters, thank you all for the opportunity to help shape the direction of Key Pen Parks this past six years. It’s been a challenging time, especially these last couple of years, but it has been a tremendous privilege and honor to serve the citizens of the Key Peninsula and I humbly seek and ask for your support for another term.
Key Peninsula Metropolitan Park Board, Position 2
Editor’s Note: Ron Hardy did not submit a statement or a photo. The following is extracted from the Pierce County Voters’ Guide.
Ron Hardy is a software and network engineer who has been a consultant to Seattle Parks, a professional land surveyor, well driller, scuba instructor, miner and realtor. He is an aircraft and drone pilot and a licensed Amateur Radio (ham) operator
He has been a volunteer with KP Parks, chairman of his homeowners’ association architecture committee, a divemaster at Coral Reef National Park, president of the Peninsula Amateur Radio Association and a volunteer amateur radio license examiner.
His campaign statement reads in part: “Proven record: Seattle Parks project consultant, reducing costs of equipment 90 percent. operation 27 percent, labor 20 percent. Worked with Key Pen Park Commission, administration and field personnel organizing and managing more than 30 community volunteers. Business owner, corporate president with experience managing public and private projects, infrastructure, serving and interfacing with stakeholders, leadership, employees, park managers, project grounds and infrastructure.
“Goals: Positively impact KeyPen Parks cost savings to create Recreation Specialist position, providing education, tours, nature walks, museums, fitness, summer youth programs. Pursue available grands for park improvements and expansion. Install internet access at parks. Area parks collaborate. Seek favorable legislation.
Compatibility: Shoulder to shoulder with Commission Chair Ed Robinson, who helped our church group build my son’s Boy Scout Eagle Project, KeyPen Gateway Park Off-leash Dog Park, and cutting wood for widows and camping facilities.
Vote for me because of my affection for local parks and desire to give back to the community.”
John “Pat” Kelly
Key Peninsula Metropolitan Park District, Position 2
My vision for the Key Pen Parks is to deliver the best multi-generational health, fitness and recreational opportunities for the citizens of the district and our visitors. I recognize that trails provide the most popular recreation and exercise opportunities, and support equal access to trails.
I will call for a steering committee of park users, to include parents of young children and senior citizens, to review and evaluate our current programs and develop new programs that best suit our community.
I plan to propose a program to fight illegal dumping in KP Parks. Dumping costs the parks district thousands of dollars each year in refuse fees and man-hours, and has caused the closure of public facilities and parking areas. A “Don’t Dump on KP Parks” initiative could install cameras and create a community-wide lookout for dumpers. Dumpers could be prosecuted, and their names and likenesses published in an ad in the KP News.
Accomplishments during my term of office include Gateway Park, specifically support for the Splash Pad. I spoke up for dog owners until the off-leash park was finally built. I requested the highway sign for Maple Hollow, and will do the same for Taylor Bay and Rocky Creek.