I am writing to express my concern about the management of the City budget in general with the proposed bike skills park as an example. It is all in the timing.

The proposed park is planned to be built this summer near the Mill Creek Parkway, at the end of 100 East.

In concept, I love the idea of having a fun place for younger children and I always am pleased by the sound of their voices and laughter. I also like the idea of naming it after Robin Groff, a friend that we sorely miss.

What I fail to understand is why the city is doing this now, at a time when employees are being laid off and are losing not only their salaries but also health insurance. The park plans call for $30,000 to build a restroom out of city funds. That would buy a lot of health insurance.

I believe it is much more a sign of conscientious good management to try to figure out a way to stop the bleeding before investing in a park. Please defer this great plan until city finances are not in the red and valuable city employees that are being laid off can be brought back into full-time employment? Or, at the very least, compensated with ongoing health insurance.

Maybe there are other ways to help. Can higher-level employees for the city – manager, mayor, etc. – take a small pay cut to help balance the budget? Can some activities or services be reduced instead of laying people off?

I am broken-hearted about what is happening here and it is not the right time to go on as if everything is A-OK. We need to pull together, share resources and help each other make it through these difficult times. Parks should come second to livelihood.

Margie Lopez Read