Letter to the Editor: Why I'm voting No on Prop 1

Monday, October 22, 2018

To the Editor:

Last week, my husband and I encountered a woman battling a broken Meridian sidewalk in her wheelchair. Her chair had tilted forward, causing her phone and her wallet to fall to the ground, out of reach.

I realized I had been thinking of Proposition 1 as just a “nice to have” but this was a sobering reminder of the need for safe sidewalks. Yet I remain convinced we should vote no.

I used to vote easily for raising taxes — glad to do my part for our community. I have become concerned, however, that tax increases are negatively impacting lower-income residents and decreasing our community’s economic diversity. Council has raised property taxes, increasing costs for owners and renters. They created traffic impact fees that tax housing units. They recently passed a Business and Operations tax, and now, they’ve proposed a sales tax that disproportionately affects low income people. Yes, the increase is small, but voters must be vigilant: is each increase necessary? Is it worth spending almost 30% of the funds on debt interest? Unlike a stadium, sidewalks could be funded with a pay-as-you-go plan.

Many of our existing sidewalks are safety hazards, yet that is also why I am voting no. Proposition 1 only funds repairs after other projects are done if funds are left-- far in the future. Shoreline is also developing an ADA plan to start fixing sidewalks (paid with new car tab fees): a revised sidewalk proposition could be developed jointly with the ADA plan.

No voter is obligated to vote yes simply because a lot of time has been put into Proposition 1. It is our democratic right to ask for a better plan (less debt, more repair) or to revise our goals for what is affordable and beneficial for Shoreline.

Mary Anne Thomas
Shoreline


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