We love our parks here in Bend - like really love our parks. In fact, the only thing that we love more than our parks is probably our pets, or our Subarus. So it's probably no great surprise that our parks district isn't without its politics. However for the last few years, the politics of parks has been thankfully devoid of partisanship. We'd like to keep it that way with board members focused on maintaining the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District's (BMPRD) award-winning programs and responsible management of the park district's coffers. To date, that approach has allowed the district to largely meet the growing needs of the Bend community through land acquisition and park development while focusing on improving indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities for residents.
That's why we're throwing our support behind Dan Fishkin for Position One on the Bend parks board. An attorney by trade, Fishkin spent the majority of his career in the entertainment industry beginning as a talent agent in New York and working his way up to chief legal counsel for the L.A.-based House of Blues franchise where he helped oversee the company's 2006 merger with Live Nation. Fishkin moved to Bend for a change of pace and place for he and his wife to raise their son. Since then, Fishkin has, by his own account, embraced the Bend community and its active lifestyle. Since arriving in Bend in 2007, Fishkin has served on the Deschutes County Sheriff's search and rescue team and completed both the Bend police and county sheriff's citizen academy. Most importantly, Fishkin has served on the BMPRD's budget committee for the past three years. That experience has given Fishkin valuable insight into one of the most important aspects of the district's operations - its finances.
By way of contrast, Fishkin's opponent, Dallas Brown, would be coming into the job without the benefit of Fishkin's familiarity with the park district. While Mr. Brown certainly has the intellectual tools, dedication and enthusiasm to make a solid contribution to the board - several of the qualities that convinced us to endorse him for county commissioner last year during his unsuccessful bid - we don't see any reason that voters should take the less experienced of the two candidates.
Moreover, we think it's important to put someone on the board like Fishkin who has no political aspirations, simply a willingness to serve his community. Fortunately that kind of civic mindedness is still alive here in Central Oregon and we think it ought to be rewarded.