FHPRD Ends Reign

FHPRD Ends Reign

With the first day of April came the end of the decade-long management of Finn Hill parks by elected commissioners using funding generated by a tax local residents voted to place upon themselves.

The Finn Hill Park and Recreation District was approved on November 20, 2002 following passage of ballot Proposition No. 1. The proposition was spurred by King County funding shortfalls that closed O.O. Denny Park in 2001 for lack of maintenance. Park neighbors rallied Finn Hill residents to create a taxing district, which received voter approval in 2002 and 2008.

Voters also elected five unpaid commissioners to handle maintenance, security, and capital improvements for O.O Denny Park.

Following annexation of the Finn Hill area by the City of Kirkland in 2011, and a subsequent parks funding levy vote approved by voters citywide in 2012, city parks department staff has agreed to take over maintenance of O.O. Denny Park. That levy vote also ended the tax Finn Hill residents imposed on themselves for maintenance of O.O. Denny Park.

 

A Trip Down Memory Lane 

Front: Frank Radford, Kristen Lloyd, Richard D. Smith, Back: Bob Sordahl, Mathew Pruitt FHPRD Commissioners April 2013

Front: Frank Radford, Kristen Lloyd, Richard D. Smith, Back: Bob Sordahl, Mathew Pruitt FHPRD Commissioners April 2013

District commissioners got together for a dinner outing to reminisce a bit in March with current commissioners Frank Radford, Rick Smith, Kristen Lloyd, Mathew Pruitt, and Bob Sordahl joined by past commissioners Leigh Readdy, Scott Lumsden, Stan Peterman, and Sandy Cox. Others who served included Jim Sproull, Chris Johnson and Paula Peterson.

Also in attendance were current and past neighborhood association leaders: Scott Morris, current president of the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance (FHNA), and Jeff Hoerth, who led the Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance (DCNA) prior to its name change and transition to a Kirkland neighborhood group. The Finn Hill Park and Recreation District worked closely with DCNA and FHNA – sharing volunteers and promoting each other’s events – during its existence. Lloyd served on the DCNA Board of Directors as a liaison to the parks district. Past DCNA president Cheryl Meyers worked with Radford in 2001 to lead in promoting the campaign for a park district.

Denny Dock by Leah Berner

Denny Dock by Leah Berner

O.O. Denny Park, located along the shores of Lake Washington at 12032 Holmes Point Drive N.E., continues to be owned by the City of Seattle. The park was given to the city of Seattle 101 years ago by Helen Denny, who had married into one of the region’s founding families.

A clause in her will stated that the land must be used for a public park and should that use change, ownership would automatically transfer to the Ladies Relief Society, an early Seattle charity. That organization has since evolved into the Seattle Children’s Home, based on Queen Anne Hill.

King County handled maintenance and improvements of the park until the voter-approved park district formed.

A call to Kirkland staff at 425-587-3340 is now required to reserve the Clayton Rich Memorial Shelter for events. Other questions or comments regarding maintenance, security, or capital improvements now should be directed to Kirkland City Hall staff or council members. (featured image by Leah Berner)

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