It’s time to act!
Last updated 5/12/2011 at Noon
Timing, as they say, is everything. It’s also been said that honesty is your best leverage.
Both of these are certainly true when we, the City Council, are going to ask you, the taxpayers, to consider supporting a levy this year to help us fund basic city services.
As some background, on Tuesday night, we (council members Peterson and Wilson) proposed a Maintenance and Safety Levy that will fund paving our streets, protect the assets of our parks and city buildings with basic general maintenance, shore up our budget, and restore some of our police that have been cut from recent budgets.
The total price for this is $2.75 million which averages out to about $13.50 a month for the average Edmonds home.
While we both feel this is a solid proposal, we will work with our fellow council members, the mayor, and citizens to make changes in order to get broad support.
It is important that the council stand together on this issue.
Should we allocate more money for roads? What public safety programs are imperative? Do we guarantee program funding for the senior Center?
These are all excellent policy discussions that we will have next week.
Now, back to the timing issue.
We have a choice of putting a levy on the ballot in either August or November. We strongly believe August is the wise choice for a couple of reasons.
First, come November, we will have four city council positions and a mayoral race on the ballot.
A thoughtful discussion of the financial needs of the city will get lost in the melee. Let’s keep the politics out of this important decision.
We also need to make smart and honest decisions when is comes to next year’s budget.
An August ballot will let us know, pass or fail, the financial picture we will be facing as we prepare the 2012 budget.
Will we face deep service cuts to parks and police or will we be able to maintain the basic services we rely on?
A November levy simply does not give us that important information.
Being open and honest about what the city needs just to maintain our basic services is something else we strongly believe.
To do that, we need a single ballot measure that clearly states what your money will be used for. A piecemeal approach simply does not face up to the financial facts.
We believe that you, the taxpayers, are fully capable of understanding and appreciating the needs of the city.
City Council has been discussing this issue every week for the past two months.
We talked about it in our February retreat. We have seen a proposal from the mayor. We have had two citizen levy committees in the last three years.
We will be discussing it again next week (5/17). It’s time to act.