Friday, July 28, 2017 This Week's Paper

Letters to the Editor: Greg Stewart

Dear Editor,

Last month the State Auditor’s office made a determination that there was no law preventing Metro Parks Tacoma from engaging in private enterprise for profit outside parks property. This means that Metro Parks is now free to provide home lawn care service, in competition to private companies. This service is not limited to city residents but may be offered to anyone in Pierce County.
I oppose Metro Parks a getting into the private lawn care business as it harms many small businesses whose livelihoods depend on it.
If validation of this is required, I have proof that Metro Parks has gotten into business outside parks properties in competition with small business. Our company, Orbiter, is in the race chip timing business. We manufacture our product here in Tacoma, and sell around the country to private race timers. Metro Parks purchased a competitive system on sole source contract without evaluating our UHF product (same as they purchased). Metro Parks has successfully sold race-timing service off parks premises, an event at Stadium Bowl, for profit. This is in direct competition with our timers.   We use the lawn care analogy to make an important point. What is legal for race timing is legal for Metro Parks offering lawn care service. What is to stop them? We think the analogy works, as it is more understandable to everyone as to what is going on.  

Greg Stewart