Regarding the proposed purchase of the Seaside Golf course by the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District (“Anger greets Seaside Golf Course sale idea,” The Daily Astorian, Jan. 17): “They” say that SEPRD should buy the Seaside Golf Course, as it would make a great and needed recreation place.

We are at the beach. People drive hundreds of miles to come to the beach. The beach provides the place for the public to play and enjoy. All we need to do is place a giant glass dome over the entire city (only on rainy days), and “they” will come.

Otherwise, the desires of the golf course owners not withstanding, the SEPRD has no business, no matter the funding, branching out to own the golf course property. It all started out as a swimming pool and is growing too fast and too large.

Heading hell bent for election down the road toward being an empire is not the direction to blindly go. Creating a large, more expensive, publicly funded bureaucracy to burden its sponsors (its taxpaying members) does not further the original intent of forming its district. Funded by tax dollars, yet not breaking even and charging its participants to use its facilities is acceptable. That way the users pay for some of the shortfall, and keep the property tax levy reasonable.

Adding to that expense by using grant and federal and other funding, which in the final analysis comes from the taxpayer’s pocket, is not reasonable or proper. After acquiring such property, and as the costs of administration (more supervisors, managers, planners and employees) still must be paid – and user fees, again, will not be enough – the taxpayer will once again be made to pick up the difference.

If such an addition to our community were necessary, and private capital does not reach out for the opportunity, then is it truly necessary? Or is it just empire building by public employees? Do Seaside and the surrounding communities involved in the SEPRD need this facility? Do we need the financial obligations that come with it? Do our children and grandchildren, and their children, need to be placed further in debt?

I think not. The country is in bad financial shape as it is – never mind who is to blame – and the financial future looks bleak. It is my hope that the movers and shakers who are involved in this project – leading citizens, board members, council members, civic leaders – keep us out of the cold, stay us from further financial problems, and give our children yet to be born an opportunity to have some debt relief.

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