On Feb. 3, the Kenmore City Council had a special meeting regarding the St. Edward ball field project. More than 100 local families and children attended the meeting to support the continuance of an environmental impact study that would determine the feasibility of building a multi-use sports fields for children.
During the meeting, David Dowell, a Kenmore citizen of 15 years, asked council to invest in our communities. He spoke about how most parents were forced to drive their children outside of the Kenmore area to fields in other congested areas. He also reminded the council that 10 years ago, they performed a search of viable outdoor recreation areas of this scale and found none. Danny Howe, another Kenmore citizen, talked about how Little League teaches children critical social and emotional learning skills and supports our children of color.
Council also heard from outside voices, including people from Lynnwood, Lake City, Kirkland and the University of Washington who now want the field for outside alternative projects.
Sadly, council members Marshall, O’Cain, Pfeil and Curtis voted to pull the plug on an environmental impact study that would have answered key environmental questions of the project. This shocking vote brought to an end a 16-year effort on the part of community members to ensure that our children had access to safe and quality fields.
It is impossible to describe our disappointment that council chose not to honor, in good faith, their promise to build these sports fields. North Lake Little League is all-volunteer organization that has served more than 5,000 local children in the past decade. We have committed to keeping our fees low for local families, yet must spend tens of thousands of additional dollars to provide our children with quality fields. We can no longer stay the course without their support.
Our question is this: When is Kenmore City Council going to honor their pledge to support our city’s children?
We urge Kenmore citizens to email council to share their views at CI_Council@kenmorewa.gov.
North Lake Little League board of directors