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Capitol Hill's Cal Anderson Park was one of the beneficiaries of the 2000 Pro Parks levy.

The mayor my not want another parks levy on

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Citizens Willing to Pay for Parks

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Capitol Hill's Cal Anderson Park was one of the beneficiaries of the 2000 Pro Parks levy.

The mayor my not want another parks levy on the ballot this year, but the people do, apparently. Council members Richard Conlin, Tom Rasmussen and Tim Burgess just released a poll in which 67 percent of those asked said they'd be willing to chip in for a $140 million continuation of the Pro Parks Levy (originally passed in 2000 and set to expire this year).

According to the poll, a phone survey of 600 people conducted last month by Alison Peters Consulting, Seattle residents were slightly less supportive of a more expensive proposal-- $240 million to fund additional projects like play areas, restrooms and landscaping at the parks-- but 65 percent still said they'd vote yes.

However, combine another parks levy with the Mayor's plan to charge citizens $75 million to shore up Pike Place Market and the possibility of $6 to $7 billion being on the ballot for a South Transit sales tax measure and things get dicey.

Says the consultant's report:

It is possible that Seattle voters may not approve all three of these proposals. ...We did not find one particular subgroup that was more likely to support parks over the Market. However, several subgroups were stronger supporters of the Market over the parks proposal, including men over 45, seniors, households earning less than $50,000 a year, and residents of Southeast and Southwest Seattle.

Demographics aside, Seattleites have shown a tremendous amount of patience in the past for opening up their pocketbooks and throwing money at whatever civic project our pols deem in need of attention. The bigger question is whether the council (even with positive poll in hand) has the stomach to tangle with the mayor on this one. Nickels has made it clear that the Market is his priority: he's not interested in parks for 2008. He's also willing to shelve a levy to fund Seattle Center improvements for the foreseeable future.

 
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