They paved paradise and put up a skateboard park

Citizens of Chelan:
We are in uncertain economic times. Rising housing costs, property taxes, excessive cap lifts and inflation have driven our work force out of Chelan. Many of us who have lived here 20 years or longer have always realized the delicate balance our unique community has between tourism, agriculture, retail, hospitality and the labor force which fuels those different facets of our local economy.
In the last 12 years we have seen focus shift mainly towards tourism and development. The result? Our labor force can no longer afford to live in Chelan. Combine that with the traffic changes, which bottleneck all movement to one intersection as well as in front of our schools, and quality of life for many long time residents has diminished.
What are our elected officials doing? Well, one thing on the CIP budget table is a $1.5 million dollar skate park. As sidewalks sit in need of repair, or are non existent, the council wishes to use concrete for a luxury item. This is a very poor use of YOUR taxpayer dollars. It is also 3 times what it would cost the city to work with the Chelan Basin Conservancy and local land trusts to preserve the Butte from development.
Chelan’s attraction has always been its natural beauty. We need elected officials who prioritize conservation, not development or man made attractions. Let’s keep Chelan pure, clean and natural.
All concerned citizens need to get involved. Otherwise, these projects will simply move forward with little or no resistance. I point to the one way bridge as a perfect example. The community was overwhelmingly against removing one of only two exits out of town. Yet, few showed up to council to speak out against it, so the administration at that time saw a green light and just did what they wanted. We need to get involved and take back our community. Apathy is not a means to effect change.
Ben Laughlin
Chelan

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