I’d like to point out a couple of areas the small town of Snohomish is getting involved in, that traditionally, were reserved for the private sector.
First, construction bids are due Oct. 10 for the renovation of the city-owned 1910 Carnegie building. The mayor, city administrator and council are hoping the bids come in under $2 million. If not, it is unknown whether the city will further raid its utility and real estate tax funds to cover the overage. The purpose for the remodel is to establish a weddings venue/event center.
In my opinion, being a commercial landlord is not a proper function of city government (getting into the weddings rental business).
Second, during the Oct. 1 council meeting. the council revealed it wants to keep its glossy print, quarterly magazine even though it is a big money loser. The magazine is mailed out to every Snohomish resident within the city and outside the city at a cost of around $10,000 per edition while revenues from advertisers account for only $2,700 to $4,000.
In my opinion, the city shouldn’t be involved in the publishing business, soliciting advertisers who are subsidized by our tax dollars. Additionally, the magazine has become a “flattersheet,” promoting city staff and incumbent elected officials, a venue for them to toot their horn.
The magazine competes with the local free press in disseminating city news and therefore constitutes unfair competition by attracting private sector advertisers with below-cost rates.