Letter to the Editor: 3 reasons why I'm voting for Proposition 1

Monday, October 17, 2022

To the Editor:

3 reasons  why I’m voting for Proposition 1.

First: Proposition 1 will allow Shoreline Police to expand the RADAR program making it available 24/7. RADAR pairs a mental health professional with law enforcement and is recognized as an effective way to help people with a mental health crisis. Shoreline citizens cite mental health and homelessness as top provides for our city, this is an opportunity to improve RADAR.

Second: Proposition 1 will allow the city to keep traffic enforcement in school zones and crime prevention programs in neighborhoods

Third: Proposition 1 will put needed funds into human services for seniors, youth and families.

6 years ago we voted to enact a levy lift of 1.39 per $1000 of assessed value. This is the same rate we are being asked to approve now. It amounts to $30 per month.

Supporting Proposition 1 is common sense. I hope we can show common sense and pass this measure.

Mary Ellen Stone


Jeff October 17, 2022 at 8:53 AM  

On your first point: At the October 10 City Council meeting, City staff made their first presentation to the Council on the proposed City budget for the next biennium.

The proposed budget (prudently) assumes that Proposition 1 does not pass. Nevertheless, it includes funding for RADAR’s 24/7 Mobile Crisis Response Team, as well as staffing increases in a number of other City departments. There were no service cuts mentioned.

Even with these new programs, the City predicts — again, assuming Proposition 1 does not pass — essentially, a balanced budget. (The City predicts a shortfall for the biennium of $358 thousand — that's a fraction of a percent of the $118 million budget.)

Should Proposition 1 pass, the City predicts large surplusses for the next five years (and a balanced budget in the sixth year.)

It seems clear that the RADAR program and the Mobile Crisis Response Team will be funded whether or not Proposition 1 is passed. To suggest otherwise is fear-mongering.

On your second and third points:

At the October 10 Council meeting, the City Manager went over what her suggestions would be as to how how to spend the more than $7 million per year additional revenue the City would get, should Prop 1 pass. Those suggestions included, in order, and (by my notes) in total:

- Hiring one additional IT person for City Hall (the proposed budget already includes increases in IT staffing.)
- More staff for the City’s HR department (which is apparently swamped due, in part, to the City's absorption of the Ronald Wastewater District?)
- Mention of funding for the middle-school "Hang-Time" program to make up for the YMCA pulling back on their contribution of staff time. (But City Manager also noted they have sufficient funding from other sources to keep "Hang-Time" going for probably the next four years.)
- “And, obviously, all the needs we have in our capital program. Though many have been funded, there [are] always more needs than money.” (The accompanying slide mentions "sidewalk, transportation, and park" priorities.) [Note that Prop 1 is supposed to be about the general fund: "Maintenance and Operations", not capital improvements. There are other funds, funded by other taxes for Roads, Sidewalk Expansion, and Parks.]

Note the absence of any mention of any real funding for your 2nd and 3rd items.

The City budget for the current biennium (2021-2022) is turning out to be much rosier (by $21 million) than the City had predicted. The City had initially forecast a $13 million shortfall over the two years, while it currently looks like revenues will exceed expenses by $8 million for the period.

To me, common sense means that if the City asks for a very large (50%, more than $7 million per year) increase in taxes, one should look at whether the City needs the money to balance their current budget, and what the City actually plans to do with (the large) surplus the increase would generate.

Should Proposition 1 be defeated, the City's proposed budget make clear that no drastic cuts will be necessary over the next couple of years. They City can place another Levy Lid Lift measure on the ballot next year — hopefully one with a more modest tax increase.

More notes and references on the City’s proposed 2023-2024 budget may be found at https://www.shorelinelevy.info/what-happens-if-proposition-1-is-defeated/

Anonymous,  October 17, 2022 at 10:27 AM  

I think $30 per month is not correct, please read Jeff’s comments on the last Shoreline area news,,,, it’s going to be huge increase in the property tax, especially people are already suffering with the inflation, grocery, gas etc, etc. I will vote NO

Anonymous,  October 17, 2022 at 4:27 PM  

I am fine with this, as long as they cut out a different tax that has the same or greater value. In this day n age with prices skyrocketing and politicians who never saw a new tax or an increase they didn't like. When do our wallets and purses get a break?!

Anonymous,  October 17, 2022 at 8:20 PM  

Is anyone aware of any traffic enforcement in Shoreline other than "perhaps" school zones? Seems to me after 20 years I should have seen at least on car getting a ticket or warning...

Anonymous,  October 19, 2022 at 6:43 PM  

No mention of apartment livers and/or developers paying anything? These added “needs” I would think are required due to this massive influx of people. Homeowners got stuck with light rail tab (tried it once only to get a lovely view to a beast of a girl throwing punches on a girl who was in the wrong spot) so probably best to avoid that mode of transport.

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