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Letter to the Editor: Levies Asking for Residents to Bail out City Hall

Previous levies have not worked and have suffered from a lack of transparency, says a reader.

Do you think the City of Edmonds has been a prudent custodian of our tax dollars?

Edmonds voters are being asked to vote on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 to bail out the City of Edmonds. I would encourage you to support smart candidates; candidates who have experience with all things financial. A "no" on all three propositions will require of our elected officials to work hard to do the work we have elected them to do: balance the books!

Proposition 1 is touted as a safety, building and parks tax. Was it not the understanding that with the dissolving of the 100-year-old city fire department, Edmonds would realize $1 million savings in the area of safety? Now the city wants another million for safety?

Proposition 2 wants us to pay for paving of our streets. A couple of years ago the City Council approved a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) vehicle licenses tax of $20 per licensed vehicle levied without benefit of a public vote. The selling point the council agreed to was that our streets would get paved. A recent public disclosure request of TBD financial records shows of the first million dollars (plus or minus) collected, only $73,000 was spent on materials (I assume asphalt). 

The other $927,000 paid for by TBD vehicle licenses fees included vehicles, flagging personnel wages and miscellaneous costs. Not much of a return on investment and not much paving?

Proposition 3 asks us to throw a wad of money into the checking account of the City of Edmonds general fund without giving the voters the benefit of financial transparency. What will the money be used for? Recently, as reported in the Edmonds Beacon (10/13/2011), there will be lawsuits to deal with relating to personnel issues. Not what I had in mind for my tax dollars.

With the Edmonds School District asking for more levy money next February, I will have make a tough decision now: Vote for education then or vote no for political folly now. I can't afford both.

I think it is time for our elected officials to go to the time out room, don't you?

John Heighway
Edmonds

Mark Zandberg November 01, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Deciding between giving more money to a wasteful city or giving more money to a wasteful school district is not a choice I am willing to make. I will be voting against all new (or replacement) taxes until I see at least a glimmer of evidence that taxes are being spent appropriately.

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