Sunday, November 4, 2012
Ron Hansen is a former Shoreline City Council Member and Mayor.
By Ron Hansen
I received an extremely false and misleading political advertisement. I will address it and urge you to please vote yes on Shoreline Prop 1.
Why do I want you to vote for Prop 1?
- I want your and my water utility rates capped.
- I want Shoreline water utility ratepayers to stop subsidizing the City of Seattle for 2-3 million dollars per year.
- I want local government answerable to Shoreline ratepayers. Seattle's responsibility is to their residents and ratepayers.
For the betterment of all Shoreline residents, vote for Proposition 1.
Why is "No on Prop 1" so misleading? The mailer says "Don't Sign a Blank Check." Seattle already has the blank check and cashes it for 2-3 million dollars per year. Over $35 million dollars from Shoreline ratepayers has been transferred to Seattle (with a 14% surcharge to non-Seattle residents). This will continue as long as Seattle is in charge.
The mailer makes statements. Some are true but are presented in such a manner as to be misleading. Yes, Shoreline has special purpose districts, but they have no authority over Seattle Public Utilities' operation of our water district. SPU operates the water system for the entire western portion of Shoreline, approximately 2/3 of Shoreline's area and population.
The mailer states, "You pay no utility taxes." This is false. Seattle gets a 15% utility tax now and Shoreline gets 6%. I want those taxes kept in Shoreline.
It states "your bills finance good maintenance". That is false for westside residents of Shoreline. SPU's policy is to "fix the immediate problems". Band-Aids are used instead of real fixes. There are areas of inadequate flow which could compromise the fire department's ability to fight a major fire.
It states "if Shoreline buys the water system you will pay more." That is unlikely but we will pay more, if Shoreline does not buy the SPU system now.
It states "your water bill will be 11% higher than it should be." It is already 29% higher than it should be. "Saving" 18% would be a bargain!
It states the Shoreline has "no agreement to purchase from Seattle, no price, no operating plan, and no certainty of separation costs." There is an informal agreement as to cost, i.e. $26.6 million. There cannot be a formal agreement unless Prop 1 is passed. There is a certainty of separation costs with a high and low range. If the highest range were exceeded, this purchase still makes sense. Remember, Seattle has the "Blank Check". I cannot stress enough how important it is to westside Shoreline ratepayers to get Prop 1 passed. It will save us all on our utility bills. And while the SWD ratepayers won't be affected in their utility rates, all of Shoreline's taxpayers will benefit from utility taxes going to Shoreline, not Seattle.
This purchase will be paid from utility bonds repaid by westside ratepayers only. Eastside residents will not pay for this program.