Monroe seeks sales tax levy increase to add police

MONROE — Police in Monroe are asking voters to approve a sales tax increase proposal on the primary election ballot.

If approved, the levy would add one-tenth of 1 percent to Monroe’s sales tax, now at 8.6 percent, effectively adding 10 cents sales tax for a $100 purchase.

The new levy would generate an estimated $309,353 in annual revenue, Police Chief Tim Quenzer said. State law would require Monroe to transfer about $46,400 of that to Snohomish County government. The rest would go toward the city’s crime and justice needs.

The first step would be hiring two new police officers, Quenzer said.

“It would put more officers on the street,” department spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.

The department has made roughly $1 million in cuts in recent years, including officer and civilian positions.

Before the cuts, the department assigned officers to three beats within the city, Quenzer said. That meant quicker response times, and gave officers a work-around if key routes were clogged by traffic or passing trains.

Staffing cuts have reduced the department to two beats, and the number of daily emergency calls per officer has risen, Quenzer said. Meanwhile, because Monroe is the transportation hub for east county, its daytime traffic is more like that of a town more than double its size, he said.

The chief also cited the department’s costly large-scale investigations in recent years, including an unsolved homicide from 2012. The department has spent roughly $25,000 in that case just on DNA testing, he said. Some of the money came from the city’s traffic-enforcement cameras, but the cameras are set to be taken down later this year.

The measure requires a simple majority to pass, said Garth Fell, county elections manager. Voters did not approve a similar levy Monroe ran in 2011.

Monroe has 29 funded commissioned police officer positions, not including the chief and deputy chief. Six unfunded positions are vacant.

The Monroe police budget for 2013 is $5.2 million. If voters approve the sale tax increase, its collection would start in January.

Signs posted in town and other promotional materials were paid for by the officers guild. The chief also visited with community groups and faith groups to talk up the levy.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Train kills man who was trying to get off tracks in Monroe

The conductor said he attempted to stop after sighting the man, who’d been lying on the rails.

Front Porch

EVENTS Construction to start on housing project A groundbreaking is scheduled for… Continue reading

FILE - This Tuesday, May 30, 2017 file photo, former Washington Gov. John Spellman, second from left, leaves a memorial service in Renton, Wash. Spellman, the last Republican governor elected in Washington, has died at age 91. Spellman’s son, Seattle attorney David Spellman, confirmed his death Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
John Spellman was last GOP governor of Washingon

He had spent recent weeks “being very disappointed with the Cougs and the Huskies,” his son said.

Most Read