2017 Election: Budget statements from an LFP incumbent and challenger

Thursday, October 19, 2017

By Evan Smith

Lake Forest Park City Council incumbent John Wright and challenger Benjamin Gonzalez O'Brien recently sent these statements about their approach to considering a city budget:

City of Lake Forest Park, Council Position 3

John Wright
John Wright

In 2010 LFP citizens were told that we HAD to pass the property-tax levy lid-lift known as ‘Prop 1’ or the City would face draconian cuts and greatly diminished services. Since the voters replied with a resounding NO to prop 1, the city had to streamline and reorganize its operations and I believe that this resulted in a far more efficient and well organized government than existed before. The city has developed a grant-match fund to bring a greater percentage of revenue in from outside sources, and I think we need to keep expanding our ability to secure grant funding by dedicating staff to that purpose. We’re making great progress!

Benjamin Gonzalez O'Brien
Benjamin Gonzalez O'Brien

I believe our city should prioritize maintaining a balanced budget, and seek opportunities for new revenue that do not include increases in property taxes. Thoughtful collaboration with the Town Center on its redesigns could help generate more revenue through sales tax. This would not only give the city more funds for improving our infrastructure, it would create benefits, instead of burdens, for the homeowners in our city. I will also advocate for more open and transparent discussions with the community about the city budget, the community’s priorities, and paths to generate more revenue that will allow our city to continue to thrive.


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