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Home » Archives » July 2005 » On Building A Sports Complex and Fields

[Previous entry: "Opposed To The Elimination Of Poll Voting."] [Next entry: "SJI School District on Ball Fields & Road Access"]

07/07/2005: "On Building A Sports Complex and Fields"

ig_Don_Galt-2 (9k image)
Where are we today? After many meetings with local neighborhood groups concerning the future fields, a public meeting was held to determine:

Do we want fields?
Can we provide a solution to the access problem?

It was approved by 100% of the people who attended this meeting that the fields, as presented, were accepted, answering the question "Do we want these sports fields for the kids?"

The voters have continually agreed upon this conclusion since 1997 when they approved a Bond by 86%, to purchase the land for a future school site and provide immediate fields for the community.

This approval by the voters should be considered a commitment for the school board and its superintendent and should be fulfilled.

The latest comment that has been made by the superintendent, Michael Sultman, is that they may sell this property to satisfy their present financial woes.

This comment is not financially responsible to our community in its long-range needs. This land is not replaceable and fulfills the present and future needs of our community, and will provide within its boundaries a site for a future school.

The recent comments that have been made pertaining to the declining enrollment of students in our present system, does not address the future needs. In reality kids will not disappear from our community in the future, but in fact grow to only larger numbers.

I have had the opportunity to discuss this subject with four different superintendents of the school district, who have all proven to have no solid intent of remaining in this community for the long haul!

It is time the school board listens to the voters and proceeds with the community playing fields and park as promised.

It is quite apparent, even after the latest meeting, that certain groups of people have had the ability to influence our school board and its superintendent! This is affecting our ability as a community to move forward in the process of clearing and grading for our future fields.

After all was said and done a public meeting held June 23rd at the Friday Harbor High School Library again was conclusive that we need and approve of the fields. Access is still an issue and continues to be resolved.

Due to the availability of fill material from the Lafarge Gravel Pit, we should move forward with the clearing and grading permit. I was very happy that Lee Sturdivant stood up and approved this, realizing the cost of this material to the community project would be forfeited if the school board continued to delay this process.

After our superintendent sent out his letter to "specific" individuals, saying that we were actively applying for a clearing and grading permit, Previous Story an email was sent to the Town of Friday Harbor Planning Department. This memo, from Lee Sturdivant, asked the Planning Dept. if she needed an attorney to prevent the hauling of the material from the Gravel Pit to the community facility.

Sturdivant's letter, as well as the reply sent by the Planning Director, read as follows:

-----Original Message----
From: Lee Sturdivant []
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 7:29 AM
To: Mike Bertrand
Subject: What are the rules, please

Dear Mike,

Some of us attended a school board meeting last night to learn, to our astonishment, that the school board believes they now have your permission to now start bringing in one or two hundred truck loads of fill through a Carter St. entrance and road that Mr. Galt will now build... "as there is no other way in." Please confirm this so that I may let the neighborhood know that you have given this permission without a CUP. We all know that once this road is built it will become the "only possible entrance."

Mr. Galt had previously agreed to let this material in through his
property off Beaverton. Now, M. Soltman said, "Don's neighborhood
doesn't want him to do that."

Do we need to get an attorney on this?
WE assumed the town would offer this neighborhood some protection - before the fact - not after - when we cannot fight this. I look forward to your response. Our neighborhood will meet this weekend on this very serious issue.

The way things stand, can they begin this immediately, with no notice whatsoever to us?
Regards, Lee Sturdivant

On Jul 1, 2005, at 9:09 AM, Mike Bertrand responded:

Good Morning Lee,
A permit for clearing, grading and filling is available for anyone who owns property in Town. The permit in question was to put in an internal road and parking lot. This is not associated with any fields of any kind. I am not aware of any agreements to allow access off of Beaverton Valley via Larson at this time. The only current legal access to these lots, where roads currently exist, are off of Carter Avenue and also the emergency access off of Coho Drive. I hope this answers your questions on this matter. I am surprised that you are opposed to going ahead with the clearing and grading permit since at the public meeting two weeks back you stood up and stated that you would not oppose the hauling of material from the gravel pit to this site. In fact the application that the school submitted to the town was far less than what was being discussed as far as volume of material to hauled in. The application was only for material to be used for the construction of the internal road and parking area. Not materials for the future fields. If you have any further questions please feel free to give me a call.

Michael Bertrand
Land Use Administrator
Town of Friday Harbor

The above emails show where we are today, and your suggestion Lee, of buying an access through the Trailer Court was not your idea. It has been an alternate solution and has been in the works for a long period of time, and is still pending!

The solution to the access problem will be made at the conditional use public meeting, not at the time of the clearing and grading permit.

Our kids excel in the academic and athletic sport programs that are provide by our school district and our community supported programs.

The Friday Harbor Athletic Association is providing the school district the ability to fulfill their commitment at no cost to them. The F.H.A.A. is a non-profit organization with an approved 501c tax status.

I ask this community to step up to the plate and assist this community project to its conclusion.

Don Galt
Concerned Volunteer

Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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