Bend Park & Recreation District is conducting an online survey to get a better sense of what local residents like, dislike and want from it.
While the survey’s results won’t be statistically valid (there’s no way to ensure that those responding are an accurate representation of the community), it can be valuable nonetheless.
It does give district patrons who for whatever reason don’t attend park board meetings regularly a chance to weigh in on how the district is doing. If, for example, you think too much money’s being spent on trails and not enough on such things as bocce ball courts, fill out the survey and let the district board know. If you think things are just about perfect, let the board know that, as well.
Meanwhile, it’s helpful to understand how the district is financed. Like schools, city and county government, the Bend park district gets its money from local property taxes, theoretically at a permanent rate of $1.46 per $1,000 of taxable property value. The rate was set in 1997, when Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 50, and it went into effect for the 1998-99 fiscal year. Measure 50 created the permanent rate by adding the district’s then-existing rate and a serial levy voters had approved earlier, and reducing it by roughly 18%.
In reality, the district actually collects only about $1.443 per $1,000 of taxable property value inside the city of Bend, because urban renewal districts get part of what’s collected.
If you’d like to be heard by park district officials, you have until Dec. 16 to complete the survey. It shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes, and while it may not be a fully accurate reflection of community opinion, district leadership will surely get some sense of what the community thinks of its park and recreation district.