Edmonds council: Property purchase is fiscal madness

  • Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:30pm

I am stunned by the City Council’s latest “gift” to us taxpayers.

When we do not have enough money to keep our own fire department, when we nearly lose our swimming pool due to budget cuts (saved by the public’s donations), when we have a citywide hiring freeze, when we have to furlough city staff to save money, when those same employees took pay cuts so the city could still pay them, when essential maintenance of roads and other projects is put off due to budget constraints, our council by a 5-2 vote decided to buy a piece of real estate for more than $1 million!

What were they thinking? We don’t know because they have not told us. During a meeting that was meant for committees to meet, they somehow miraculously came up with a plan to buy this land that has not been appraised and we have no use for. It is going to cost us many thousands of dollars (that we can’t afford) just to do a feasibility study and have it appraised. Pretty fast work for people who took months of meetings with tons of public comment to decide about leashing cats!

One would expect (foolishly it seems) that something this costly, unnecessary and local would have at least some public input. We have an Economic Development Commission. Why were they not consulted? Why were we (you know, the people who have to pay for this) not consulted? Why were no public meetings scheduled?

So, instead of a business person buying the property, whether for a fast-food restaurant (as rumored) or another business that would contribute badly needed sales and property tax dollars, the council thinks taking a supposedly million-dollar property off the tax rolls is a good idea?

Maybe we can rise up and defeat this idea and then use some of that money to hold a recall election for the Fiscally Foul Five? Let’s get a petition going.

Chris Fleck


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