Letter to the Editor: City's priorities are not aligned with the needs of its residents

Saturday, April 6, 2019

To the Editor:

I am adamantly opposed to Shoreline tax increase funded proposal for a new community center and aquatic center, park space improvement, expansion and acquiring new park space. If it ain’t broke--- don’t fix it.

First we need more protection in our neighborhoods. There are numerous incidents of robberies, break-ins and vandalism. We no longer feel safe in our homes and attention to these issues should be a higher priority for tax dollars.

Second we need better police monitoring of excessive speed – noticed especially in the past five to ten years. As part of a directed citizen’s response, we have set-up and monitored radar carts. We recorded a preponderance of vehicles traveling 15 to 25 miles higher than the speed limit. It’s a miracle that no human has been maimed or killed although numerous animals have not been so fortunate. Each time we request help for these matters, we are told there is not funding to increase traffic officers or motorcycle patrols.

Third, I have lived here 44 years and have seen our quality of live steadily decrease. Our streets are in need of attention for many look like a war zone. Between pot-holes, sloughing asphalt and litter, Shoreline is not presenting itself as a quality residential area. Putting in a new community and aquatic center, park space improvement and park land acquisition is like putting lipstick on a pig. Instead of spending more tax dollars on things that would be “nice” but not critical need, I would encourage our Shoreline Government to think about basic essential services that are not adequate.

In our years as residents, I’ve watched our property taxes go from $800 per year to $8000 per year, a 1000% increase whereas my military disability pension has only had a 300% increase over the same time. It pains my heart to see millions of dollar being spent on nice but not critically needed structures. This creates an illusion of pretty amenities sitting on a garbage dump! It is ludicrous to spend taxpayer dollars on things that are a want not a NEED,

Ray D. Branham
Shoreline


8 comments:

pedro April 6, 2019 at 8:11 AM  

WOW very well said. This is what many of us long time residences are feeling and going through.. No. 1 is the NO SPEED INFORCEMENT.. WHY post or have a speed limit its Dangerous
GET OUR POlice back to enforcing and STOPPING OFFENDERS. MAKE THE CROSSWALKS SAFER

Shoreline Luke April 6, 2019 at 8:57 AM  

I thought the YMCA did a good job. Surprised the city wants to compete with them.

Unknown April 6, 2019 at 9:07 AM  

Although I've only been here 30 years, I totally agree with Mr. Branham. I would add that the level of drug use has also exponentially exploded in Shoreline. Weed is one thing, but heroin and meth have taken over and it is likely these users who have committed many of the crimes because they need money for their "fixes". This issue is not even on the agenda of our city council and SHOULD BE!

Wendy DiPeso April 6, 2019 at 9:14 AM  

Many citizens have been saying this for years, including at city council meetings where our voices were ignored. Those who could sell and leave Shoreline have. Most of my neighbors plan to leave as well.

David Higgins April 6, 2019 at 10:59 AM  

Ray you are spot on! The tax increases could be bearable if the city paid for services like police and cared for the infrastructure. They sure have a nice city hall. The city council has been controlled by Futurewise which wants Shoreline to "grow". We sure don't need more bike lanes.

Jim Hutter April 7, 2019 at 4:06 AM  

With all the new development here currently and in the future shouldn't taxes go down with more people paying into the system? And with this new development shouldn't the builder/contractor foot the bill for widening roads, preventing storm water pollution BEFORE construction begins?
Its a myth that growth pays for itself and another perfect example of what our elected officials ignore.

Ethan Melville,  April 8, 2019 at 9:08 AM  

I grew up in Seattle but moved to Shoreline a couple years ago. I have a car but commute by bus because driving is miserable no matter where you are in King County. Short of eliminating cars, the only infrastructure change that could significantly improve that is light rail. In the meantime, people could try some different tactics like simply speeding up a little or pulling over to let aggressive drivers by, instead of doing something dangerous like slowing down unexpectedly, which just encourages people to pass. Also, Shoreline produces an annual police service report which shows crime rates continue in steady decline despite what the media wants you to believe. Personally, I do not support these tax levies either because our state has such an unfair tax system and, as you point out, we can't afford to maintain our current infrastructure despite how much taxes have gone up in recent years.

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