Comment (2017-06-15) About Marina Privatization

From: Jonathan Mark
To: Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee, Seattle City Council
Date: June 15, 2017

My name is Jonathan Mark and I have concerns about the proposed agreement at Leschi and Lakewood Marinas.

The Parks Department says it wants to leverage its spending on facilities to attract private capital investment.

The word “leverage” means to incur future obligations in exchange for something we want today. But today, we have more Parks facilities than we can afford to maintain. This is already too much leverage. What we need now is less leverage, not more.

How can we reduce leverage? By protecting our income streams. These marinas are unique properties, they market themselves, and they generate substantial revenue every year. This agreement proposes to give that away and keep only 3% of revenue for the city. This deprives the public of the financial value of its asset.

I also don’t understand how this deal can be extensible from 20 years to 40 years. If 20 years is a fair deal for the public, then it is unfair to extend the period of receiving only 3% of revenues, with nothing provided in exchange.

Can we really not afford to maintain our profitable asset? While at the Asian Art Museum building in Volunteer Park, our building is used by a private operator that yields no financial compensation to the City, not even paying for its own utilities and custodial services. But somehow we can afford to expand that building, spending $10 million more than the levy allotment, and adversely impacting one of our top landscape parks?

We will not always be in a boom time and we need to use City resources more wisely and sustainably. Please do not vote for this agreement.

Thank you.

Useful Links:

Agenda, Parks Committee, 2017-06-15 (PDF)
Documents attached to the agenda:
Marina Lease Agreement (PDF)
Summary and Fiscal Note (PDF)
Summary Attachment A – Moorage Project Deliverables (PDF)
Summary Attachment B – Property Maps (PDF)
Summary Attachment C – CIP Project Page (PDF)

Presentation (PDF)
Announcement from Seattle Parks & Recreation (PDF)
Friends of Lakewood Moorage

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