Letter to the Editor: Leave my yard signs alone

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To the Editor:

Around noon on Monday, a white sedan stopped in the street in front of my house, a guy hopped out of the passenger side, yanked up my YesLFP Prop. One sign, smashed it on the asphalt three or four times, threw it in the drainage ditch and sped away.

The frenzied destruction of my sign in broad daylight got my attention. Teaparty-style tactics in a Lake Forest Park election?

We're talking about an average tax increase of less than $12 a month to close a persistent budget gap. A gap caused not by wild spending, but by the 1% property tax initiative defeated by Lake Forest Park voters ten years ago, but passed statewide.

I took another look at the "No!" mailer I received the other day. As expected, it includes the “No!” campaign’s favorite scary, and cleverly misleading, "38% property tax increase" statistic. Their grim unemployment figure covers the entire Seattle metro area (the local percentage isn’t as spectacular.) Three stock photos showing models posed in front of ordinary houses are juxtaposed with two plaintive quotes not attributed to real people. And, come on, guys -- every governing body in America is making budgets "based on unknowns in the national, regional and local economy."

As a grownup, I know the tax increase is based on the 11% of my total property tax returned to Lake Forest Park, not my entire property tax bill. Grownups gladly pay for city services like police, street repairs, septic tank oversight, sewer maintenance, etc. because these services don't happen magically. They take people and they cost money.

Here's a real quote from a real person prepared to forgo a couple of latt├ęs to keep services at their present level:

"I support the levy. Leave my signs alone!"

Teri Howatt
Lake Forest Park


Brian On Wine July 21, 2010 at 12:08 AM  

I'm disappointed that anybody would intentionally damage or destroy political signs of any affiliation. It is an immature and unconscionable act.

But that is the only point with which I agree with the writer.

More than 1/3 of Lake Forest Park's employees earn more than $100,000 per year in compensation.

It is my understanding that Lake Forest Park has the highest property tax rate of any municipality in King County. And they want to raise it even higher? In this economy? Are they crazy?

Lets restore fiscal responsibility to LFP and defeat Prop 1.

Anonymous,  July 21, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

The "less than $12 a month" lie lives on in the "yes" campaign's story. The only fact in this issue is that city government is asking voters to approve an increase in the city's levy rate from about $1.33 to $1.85 per $1000 of assessed valuation. That is about a 38% increase in the city's levy rate. How that translate to actual dollars depends on many factors. The $12 figure assumes a 10% drop in the assessed value of your home for the coming year. The Assessor's Office is predicting a 0-3% drop in our area. What the city refers to as an "average" home value is about $415,000.
I don't condone any political sign vandalism. Please recognize that the No campaign signs have been vandalized all around town also.

Anonymous,  July 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM  

Your thoughtful article was discredited by your giant stereotype statement of,
"Teaparty-style tactics".

Bad people on both sides of any issue do irresponsible and even illegal things.
Your property should not have been destroyed.
Gross generalization, however, doesn't strengthen your statement.
It just shows your bias.

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