Letter to the Editor: I urge you to vote yes for Proposition 1

Saturday, September 25, 2010

To the Editor:

Shoreline has many fine parks, good streets, and safe neighborhoods. Most of all, we have many fine citizens who support each other and value our community. This fall we can maintain our excellent police, parks, and community services by voting yes for Proposition 1.

For a decade, the City of Shoreline has cut costs and kept tax increases at zero or one percent – far below inflation. Shoreline is one of the most efficient cities in the region, with fewer employees and lower costs than similar cities.

Proposition 1 is a maintenance and operations levy to pay for parks, police, and community services. It would cost the average homeowner $7.60 per month. For that price, our police will still be there when you call, our parks will be clean and safe, and we will have access to services in times of need. It’s a great value.

If it does not pass, the cost to our community would be enormous. The $14 million shortfall over six years would require drastic cuts in many basic services, such as closure of the Shoreline Pool, shutting down the East and West Police storefronts, eliminating School Resource Officers at Shorewood and Shorecrest, and reduced maintenance of parks and playfields. Cuts to our human services safety net could jeopardize funding for the Senior Center, the Center for Human Services, and recreational programs for youth and people with disabilities.

Of course these are tough economic times. I believe that when the times are tough, the tough get going. I feel that the citizens of Shoreline can pull together in any times. I urge you to vote yes for Proposition 1 to support basic services in Shoreline.

Donn Charnley


Anonymous,  September 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

Do you know that the city of Shoreline has the 2nd highest taxes (Spokane is 1st) of any city in Washington?

Anonymous,  September 27, 2010 at 8:33 AM  

Dear anon @ 7:21,

Do you know who gets those taxes? Not Shoreline.

Shoreline only gets 10 cents of every dollar. The majority (40%) is Shoreline schools, state school get 17%, Fire gets 14%, and KC gets another combined 11%.

With all of the things that the City provides for residents, don't you think you're getting a bargain?

I do.

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 6:50 AM  

The City's own information clearly states that the majority of its operating budget goes into staff expenses.

The staff receives a mandatory contribution to:

PERS (state retirement)
401(a) (social security replacement)

Here is the rub - State and King County Employees only get PERS, they don't get a 401(a).

But it gets better yet for our staff. They also get $831 per month for health care costs, but the actual costs is around $200 less per month for single employee - the City has 64 in this category.

These employees contribute this extra $200 per month to deferred compensation, which is a THIRD source of retirement funds. Do simple arithmetic folks:

64 employees x
200 month x
12 months year =

$153,600 estimated hidden deferred compensation to an already generous retirement plan just for 64 single employees with no dependents.

And the City claims to have cut costs, they haven't rebid their health insurance plan since 2003 and have no plans to do so, don't you think they could get a better deal?

And who do you think is paying for the Yes on Prop 1 campaign? Of course the city employees? At least 70% of the cash contributions to the political action committee for Yes on Prop 1 have come from City of Shoreline employees and most of them don't live in Shoreline.

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 8:39 AM  

But, State & KC employees get social security and will collect social security when they retire. City employees will not. There is NO contribution by the City or City employees into social security. INSTEAD they have a social security replacement program that is invested. That is why it is called a REPLACEMENT. This is NOT in addition to.

I also understand that the City will be reviewing the health insurance plan in 2011.

Let's all be totally straight forward factual.

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

You missed the triple contribution into retirement, didn't you?

2. 401(a) - better than social security
3. deferred compensation from an overpayment for health insurance that others must pay into from their direct salary?

Review the health insurance in 2011 for a plan created in 2003, which mean in 2012, when in other local governments they are cutting now?


What say you to the City staff paying for the political campaign to raise property taxes in a municipality in violation of their own personnel policies?

Selection bias...

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