Sammamish Forum Feb. 6
February 6, 2013
Help the neighbors with EFR funding
I recently advocated for the city of Sammamish to be generous in its contribution to the Eastside Fire & Rescue budget because we have the wealth to do so. In his letter to the Review, Gene Pope advocated for our city to pay the lowest amount possible.
These contrasting views highlight an issue that is directly applicable to the EFR funding debate, including its budget shortfall – the growing income and wealth disparity in King County and across America.
Our economy has lost its efficiency in generating broad-based wealth. No amount of arguing that the wealthy ‘earned it’ and should ‘keep all they can’ will refute the prima facie evidence. A few are gaining while the rest decline. It is utterly hypocritical when some who have benefitted from an economy and a tax system that are being systematically transformed to funnel wealth to the top declare any attempt to reverse this trend to be patriotic blasphemy, e.g. Marxism or Socialism as is often done.
The fundamental question I raise is whether ‘ability to pay’ should be considered in the EFR cost allocation formula. Perhaps the following will help you understand why I, a homeowner support this.
First, the median household income of North Bend families is $77,462. It is $128,006 in Sammamish, a difference of more than $50,000!
Second, under the EFR funding formula promoted by Sammamish, North Bend would see a 50% increase while Sammamish would pay 12% less.
Through the luck of genetics, nutrition, educational opportunities and a host of other factors completely outside of a person’s control, some are better at accumulating wealth than others. And those with greater wealth are the only residents with the resources to ensure that our neighbors have affordable fire and rescue services. As the adage states, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’.
I realize that my generalization cannot encompass all Sammamish residents’ economic circumstances.
Nevertheless, I encourage you to support our EFR community by telling the City Council to contribute more so that others may benefit from Sammamish’s wealth, ‘friendliness’, and generosity.
Michael J. O’Connell
Make Ace work
Neighbors, help me out here. We citizens of Sammamish are paying for a $25 million aquatic center, that money coming from tax reserves.
Reserves? Strange place to put a lot of money — hope it’s earning a high rate of interest.
We citizens are driving on roads, 228th is a perfect example, that are full of little squiggly tar fillers and are dotted with manhole covers that offer up a very bumpy ride.
And we citizens have been unable to convince someone on high that Ace Hardware is a necessity to just about everyone who lives up here. And officials stop it because wetlands and other logistics render it undoable. Really?
The fact that our City Council has found every reason to make it impossible for Ace to build their own building, with their own money, in our tiny community is really narrow-minded! I would think once in a while a City Council member might need a particular washer, bolt, nail, or a one-of-a-kind fix-it doodad that only Ace can provide. It might be a 25cent cash register ring, but the money saved on gas and time adds up!
And there’s no way you will ever get one-on-one service coupled with product knowledge like you do at Ace. Ace has saved many home projects in our household, as I’m sure it has in others around here.
So I say, never mind the fish and the wetlands. Let’s keep Ace as one of our core businesses in the Safeway strip mall. I’ve yet to see a fish fix a leaking sink, but Ace can certainly get the job done. There certainly must be a few work-arounds that could keep this necessary business.
Those of you, who agree with me, please do whatever you can to support our community and continue to endorse Ace. If it’s a fish habitat we’re saving, how about building a bridge?
Its not that easy
I was truly offended by a letter writer with her condescending distortions. “When a National Rifle Association ad simply pointed out that the school the president’s girls attend is protected by armed guards.” Really?
Does the writer really think there is any real comparison or even a reasonable excuse to use the children of the President as political fodder and that this ad was so simple and innocent?
I certainly hope she does not truly believe us all such simpletons or the issues involved to be so simple as she tried to make them. To do so insults all intelligent, reasonable people who acknowledge reality and the need for change.
Michael T. Barr