UPDATED: Letter to the Editor: Find out why the City needs more tax money from us

Saturday, May 21, 2016

This letter has been updated at the request of the author. 05-23-2016

To the Editor:

Report on Wed, May 18 Financial Sustainability Public Meeting at Richmond Beach Congregational Church, held by City of Shoreline staff.

The meeting was attended by a small group of very interested citizens. John Norris, City Assistant Manager, started the meeting and gave an overview. He shared that our investment in the City covered generally all city services - parks, police, traffic and human services. Then Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director, spelled out the specifics within each area and how much the City spends on an annual basis.

Examples are:

Shoreline Police - $9.5 million; Neighborhoods, $172,000; 24 Hr Customer Response Team, $525,000; Aquatics / Recreation Program $1.69 Million; Parks Maintenance, $1.72 Million.

You'll have to come to the next meeting to get the entire list! The staff did give us ample opportunities to ask questions.

The City estimates that if the levy lift is passed in November, the average homeowner will pay $93 $62 more per year or $5 a month, and apartment dwellers will pay $45 per year.
depending on the property managers of those properties. 

Wouldn't you like to find out why the City needs more tax money from us?

There will be another meeting on Wednesday, May 25th at the Shoreline Library, 345 NE 175th Street - 7:00-8:30.

Ginny Scantlebury


Anonymous,  May 22, 2016 at 12:57 AM  

How are apartment dwellers billed for this? Via rent increases? If a developer is skating high above the rest of us and raking in profits on a decade-plus multi-family property tax exemption (those granted the exemption even though they're not providing affordable units - but that's another story). Perhaps the city would like to explain how this increase is passed along to renters via direct and indirect means? This isn't just a jab at the rich getting richer by not investing in our community, it's an earnest question for the tenants of rental homes. How is this increase typically passed on to the renter?

Anonymous,  May 22, 2016 at 1:32 AM  

I'm all for funding law enforcement and giving them the resources they need to do their jobs, but how much of the crime they're tasked with is caused by individuals outside of Shoreline? What's the percentage of perpetrators committing crimes here who we as a community have not cultivated? Yet we're expected to pay for security and protection from interlopers? We've heard the song and dance from a "scotch" over council majority and their shills that we're "morally obligated" to upzone as light rail is a regional investment. Well, what about the fact that we're geographically situated in a five-way vice-grip of crime? Seriously... county line, and five municipalities bordering Shoreline and we're in the middle with little or no power to make our communities safer? Most arrests are a result of mental health or addiction. I don't see the "pro-growthers" sobbing and pulling their hair out over lack of services and perhaps diverting the building of a new jail to fund a new facility for human services, which is a truly progressive ideal (not fake-progressive-build--max-density-magical-thinking-smart-but-not-really-smart-growth-will-fix-everything.)

Dan Jacoby,  May 22, 2016 at 7:58 AM  

The question isn't what we're spending money on now; the question is what the city staff wants to spend money on in the future. After a decade of costs rising at more than twice the inflation rate, they want to continue spending like a drunken sailor – they project future costs to rise at nearly twice the inflation rate for the next decade as well.

It's also interesting that the city staff would project that the average homeowner would pay $93 more, since they told their handpicked Citizen Advisory Committee (of which I was a dissenting member) that the average increase would be far less. At the April 28th meeting, they claimed that the average increase would be $62 (it's on page 5 of the linked document).

How did that increase jump by 50% in just a few weeks? And how much higher will it jump by the time it is enacted – if, that is, they can propagandize enough voters into believing their nonsense?

I couldn't make the forum in Richmond Beach, but I'll be there this Wednesday. I encourage everyone to attend.

Dan Jacoby

Link: http://www.shorelinewa.gov/home/showdocument?id=25853

Anonymous,  May 23, 2016 at 2:18 PM  

Just for today alone, the City has spent a quarter million on the 145th St. Corridor, with millions more to go. They also spent a quarter million on the dreadful Secret Shoreline marketing campaign. The North Maintenance Facility at Bruggers Bog, estimated at $9 million in the utility unification study, now is estimated at $23 million - City Hall cost around $30 million!

Then there are projects the city spent money on that we will never benefit from - like the SPU acquisition. Money was spent on consultants for the unification study, a staff/personnel study, an alternate water source study, a water pressure study, an operations plan, you name it, the City spent it and wanted to make Ronald Wastewater pay for some it as well.

Drunken sailors indeed, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Anonymous,  May 23, 2016 at 4:30 PM  

Don't forget the half-mil for the upcoming 185th corridor study to widen 185th. What are they going to do... shave a few feet off of the side of homes that are too close to the street? How many fences and rock walls are going to have to come down and will homeowners even be compensated? How many people are going to have speeding traffic wizzing mere feet away from their front doors?

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