Give us nothing and ask us to work for free, it’s called volunteering

Dear Pierce County,
(Hmmm, maybe dear is the wrong word. )

Heya Pierce County…

(That’s better. )

So, you want some citizen input?
You got an opening on a board?
Which board, ya say?
Was that the Citizen’s Advisory Board for Parks? Or the Advisory Committee for Land Use?
You know I served a term on the Community Plan.

Which one?

Spanaway, Parkland and Midland, followed by Graham, which is actually also Elk Plain. It (Elk Plain) never got name credit for even existing, unlike other communities. And that was where I was living at the time. I believe each one was for a few years of my time.

So how much are you gonna pay me this time? Free? More work for free. Right. Got it.
Hey County, do you know how many Citizen Boards and Committees you have that you want us to work for free on?

Last count it was 45.

Right 45, you sure that was all?

Well, there are also a lot of other community groups and non-profits that appreciate volunteers also.

Gotcha. Yes, there are hundreds of them too. But here’s my point…

I started volunteering in about 1989, when my children were old enough to handle having me gone for the house a night or two each week. Family, growing kids are a great motivator for wanting a livable and safe community. So, I thought I would do my part to put my suggestions out there to make a better life for them. Sounds reasonably altruistic, right?

Fast forward. Now it is 33 years later. I put in a lot of hours as a volunteer. I put in a lot of suggestions. How many of those suggestions did you act on?

Did the Cross Base Highway get built since 1989?

Did Spanaway or Parkland get sidewalks? You say they got a few streetlights? Ok, a few street lights.

You got a Skate Park at Sprinker.

Hey, County. I wrote the grant for that Skate Park. Do you remember the threats to me about that grant? You tried not to even let me know when to turn it in. I twisted the arm of the County Exec. while the Parks Director was on vacation to get that skate park grant in. Then you told us we had to match the grant, which your henchman doubled the monetary amount I put on it, just before pushing the send button. You really thought you’d stop us didn’t you? If we could not afford to match that dollar amount. Well, screw you, we had Nancy LeMay on our side. Ha! So that actually was our skate park, not yours.

Ok, you paid for it. But we covered all the cost overruns. And, we allowed it in the Sprinker Recreation Center.

Yes, you did. Then right after school was out, you put a fence around it and padlocked all the kids out of it. Do you have any idea how spittin’ mad we were about that? Yeah, you had excuses, but it was our personal contribution to use for our kids. And you padlocked it. At least we all finally came to terms that kids could register and their parents vouch for them so they can use it now. And you let Nancy name it, for her contribution that completed the match.

So, are you still interested in that volunteer position?

County. I am almost 65 years old now. I am on retirement.

Then you have the time, right?

County, I am on Social Security now. I worked all my life and I do not have enough Social Security to live on.

But the Feds gave you a raise.

Yes, they did. It was long overdue. But they also gave us inflation four times the amount of the cost of living raise. It didn’t work. I can’t make ends meet. I have to go back to work. So that’s my point. Why do you have all these “volunteer” positions where people supposedly help you do your jobs, then, you don’t listen to a word they say and you do what you want to anyway?

I worked for free and what did we get for it in 33 years? The infrastructure you were supposed to put in when you allowed all these houses to be built. Where is it? What did WE get for all our “volunteer” work?

<crickets>

Exactly. Maybe you should pay me next time you think to ask for my help. Then you might care enough to actually value something I have to say

* * * * * *

For anyone that is still somewhat naive, here are the 45 work for free opportunities to help Pierce County do nothing for you. Boards & Commissions.

•             Accessible Communities Advisory Committee

•             Aging & Disabilities Resources Advisory Board

•             Allocation Advisory Committee for Prevention

•             Anderson Island Citizens’ Advisory Board

•             Arts Commission

•             Behavioral Health Advisory Board

•             Birth to 25 Advisory Board

•             Board of Equalization

•             Boating Advisory Commission

•             Pierce County Boundary Review Board

•             Citizens’ Salary Commission for Elected Officials

•             Civil Service Commission

•             Community Development Corporation

•             Conservations Futures Citizens Advisory Board

•             Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board

•             Ethics Commission

•             Flood Control Zone District

•             Frederickson Advisory Commission

•             Gig Harbor Peninsula Advisory Commission

•             Graham Advisory Commission

•             Human Services Citizens’ Advisory Board

•             Key Peninsula Advisory Commission

•             Lakes Management District Advisory Board

•             Landmarks and Historic Preservation

•             LEOFF 1 Administration Board

•             Library District Board of Trustees

•             Lodging Tax Advisory Committee

•             Long Term Care Ombudsman Advisory Board

•             Mid-County Land Use Advisory Commission

•             Noxious Weed Control Board

•             Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Land Use Advisory Commission

•             Parks Citizens Advisory Board

•             Performance Audit Committee

•             Personnel Board

•             Planning Commission

•             Pierce County Regional Council

•             Refugee and Immigrant Affairs

•             Solid Waste Advisory Committee

•             South Hill Advisory Commission

•             Surface Water Management Advisory Board

•             Tacoma Narrows Airport Advisory Commission

•             Thun Field Advisory Commission

•             Tourism Promotion Area

•             Transportation Advisory Commission

•             Veterans Advisory Board

Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Advisory Commission, March 2022

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kay Lilland says:

    several good points made by Ms. Lincoln!

  2. Lincoln says:

    My daughter’s friend just coined the word, volunTOLD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s