County Councilman Calvin Goings honored for support of parks

Pierce County Councilmember Calvin Goings will be honored by the Washington Parks and Recreation Association next month for his leadership in passing state and county fiscal legislation to support parks.

The Legislative Citation of Merit Award will be presented April 24 during the WPRA 2003 Conference at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Skamania County.

“Councilmember Goings played a major role in the passage of the two most significant pieces of parks and recreation legislation in Pierce County history,” said Jan Wolcott, director of the Pierce County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Then a state senator, Goings drafted legislation for the so-called “zoo tax” that authorized the county to submit a tenth-of-a-percent sales tax proposal to the voters.

In September 2000, the voters approved the measure, which generates $9 million a year for the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and county and city parks in Pierce County.

After leaving the Senate and winning election to the County Council, Goings helped draft and win approval for the second real-estate excise tax, which generates $3 million a year, 75 percent for road construction and 25 percent for parks.

“Calvin’s leadership in the sales tax measure while he was in the Senate and in the real-estate excise tax by the Council was huge for Pierce County,” Wolcott said.

He and his staff nominated Goings. The Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition, which will receive the WRPA Organization Citation of Merit Award, also was nominated by Pierce County Parks and Recreation.

According to the parks director, Goings passion for parks and recreation goes beyond his legislative contributions.

“He supports open space preservation in the rapidly urbanizing areas of unincorporated Pierce County, and he actively participates with parks and recreation staff in developing project ideas and property purchases,” Wolcott said.

He was the youngest elected official in the state when he became a Fire District No. 9 commissioner at age 18.

He was appointed to fill a State Senate vacancy at age 22 and won election to the position a year later.

He was 27 when elected to the Pierce County Council in November 2000.
Goings was named legislator of the year by the Washington State Troopers Association in 1999 and the Washington State Council of Sheriff and Police in 1998.

He also was recognized as an “outstanding alumnus” by Pacific Lutheran University.

He was a founding member and past president of the South Hill Community Council and founding member of the Canyon Road Task Force Citizens Advisory Committee and South Hill Historical Society.

He is an East Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and Pierce College Foundation board member.