By Ann McCreary

A special three-day candidate filing period opens today (Feb. 12) for people interested in running for commissioner of a proposed Methow Valley Recreation District. The filing period closes Friday (Feb. 14) at 4 p.m.

All candidates will appear on the April 22 special election ballot, which will also ask voters to approve or reject creation of a special taxing district to maintain and expand recreation opportunities in the Methow Valley.

Recreation District Commission candidates must be registered voters within the proposed district, which has the same boundaries as the Methow Valley School District No. 350.

The commission has five at-large positions. Commissioners would be responsible for governing the recreation district. Candidates must file for a specific commission seat and can only file for one of the five commission seats, according to the Okanogan County auditor’s office.

Election winners will serve terms of one year, three years or five years, with the highest vote-getters having the longer terms.

Candidates can file in one of three ways: by appearing in person at the auditor’s office in Okanogan; by registering on line at vote.wa.gov/okanogan; or by mailing in the a Declaration of Candidacy form, which can be found on the Washington Secretary of State’s website under “Elections and Voting.”

Backers of the proposed recreation district gathered enough signatures to place the proposal on the ballot. The measure calls for establishing a Metropolitan Park District under Chapter 35.61of Washington state law.

Under state statute the elected Recreation District commissioners have the authority to impose a tax levy of up to 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on all of the property within the boundaries of the MVRD.

For information or questions about candidate filing or the election call the auditor’s office at (509) 422-7240.