I have read a couple of letters to the editor in the local papers from the Town of Woodways council explaining why I and other Edmonds City Council votes were wrong against the multiple-year police contract agreed to with Woodway.
(Read a letter to the editor from Woodway Mayor Carla Nichols.)
I thought maybe the Edmonds taxpayers deserved the full explanation.
Woodway councilmember Mitchell maintained the three of us that voted against it “failed to comprehend” the contract. Oh trust me, the three of us clearly understood the taxpayers of Edmonds were subsidizing the Town of Woodway.
This contract agreed to was for $36,000 per YEAR for 16 hours per day, 365 days per year of emergency services. Woodway currently has an average of eight hours a day of a contracted officer who is employed by the town of Woodway. The City of Edmonds Police Department budget is about $9.5 million per year.
Woodway Council indicated they did not request full service contacts with our police force and only wanted limited backup services, although we are the only police agency to routinely serve 16 hours per day of emergency services to Woodway.
Edmonds Police Chief (Al Compaan) offered serving Woodway full time and, charging as such, he was turned down by the mayor of Woodway. Woodway indicated that they didn’t request Edmonds Police Department speed control, investigations or patrolling the streets of Woodway.
They only wanted a response from Edmonds Police, the responding agency when 911 is called 16 hours per day.
Those 10 or more calls per month the Edmonds Police Department respond to in Woodway take away from the duties the Edmonds police officers should/could be providing the tax payers of Edmonds.
The city of Edmonds taxpayers are providing average of 16 HOURS per day of emergency services from the Edmonds Police Department for $36,000 per year to Woodway.
City of Woodway also has (Snohomish County) Fire District 1, who provides emergency fire and paramedic services to Woodway for over $500,000 per year. They have less than 25 calls per year to Fire District 1.
That averages to $20,000 per call Woodway pays Fire District 1. With the new police contract with Edmonds, it averages $300 per call for police for over 120 calls per year. Edmonds taxpayers can’t base what they end up paying by number of emergency police calls they make. We also must pay for clerical supports, dive teams, training, supplies, uniforms and so forth.
The Edmonds Police force is hard-working, with dedicated men and women. Their salaries, benefits and contracts are based on cities similar in population, not number of calls or types of calls as Woodway would suggest.
If you divide our population by $9.5 million per year and do the same with the city of Woodway’s population, you get your suggested real cost of $360,000 dollars per year. Minus the eight hours per day of Woodway police force currently has, equals about $240,000 per year they should be paying to pay their fair share of our costs.
The City of Edmonds and Edmonds City Council didn’t complete due diligence prior to voting for this contract. They voted without information. We saw no other city comparables for like situations nor were we informed what the surrounding police departments would charge the Town of Woodway for the same services. I represent the citizens of the City of Edmonds, not the Town of Woodway.
As taxpayers, when you pay for police and fire services, you are paying for insurance you hope you never have to use.
Edmonds City Council