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  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:10am

Proposition 1

When Tim Eyman was promoting his tax-cutting initiatives, he said if people wanted more services than the revenue stream could provide, they could vote on it.

That’s what’s happening in Edmonds with Proposition 1.

At first glance, observers might say that the $1.7 million for public safety should come from other parts of the city budget, such as parks or planning. But steady cuts the past four years have already reduced these departments, and others, to close to a bare minimum. There isn’t much left that can go. Plus, these features are what make a city a city. They’re the reason people vote to incorporate or annex in the first place: services. You get what you pay for.

If the levy doesn’t pass, police and fire service will still be provided. But related programs, such as crime prevention and a fire training officer, would likely be lost. The city would have to find another way to cover increasing costs related to running public safety agencies, such as radio dispatch technology and prisoner care. And front-line firefighters and police officers would likely work more overtime, contributing to fatigue and burnout.

The levy is estimated to increase taxes $76 a year for five years for the owner of a $200,000 home. That’s nowhere near what that same homeowner has already been saved by the tax-cutting initiatives that made Proposition 1 necessary.

It pencils out. Vote yes.

Edmonds City Council Pos. 4:

Lora Petso

Lora Petso’s devil’s advocacy on the City Council has been a double-edged sword.

She asks questions at Council meetings that would probably not be asked otherwise. The upside is that little, if anything, gets overlooked. The downside is that the smallness of some of the items, along with her sometimes confrontational style, can cause her message to be obscured by her method.

Her challenger, Peggy Pritchard Olson, displays the type of solid community background, intelligence and general common sense that tend to make good public servants. If elected, she likely would be an asset to the Council.

That’s what makes it a tough call. What tips the balance for Petso is her steadfastness in representing two values that are very important to most Edmonds residents – neighborhood protection and fiscal conservatism. Her vigilance on budget matters serves a useful function on the Council. One might not want a whole Council of Lora Petsos, but it’s good that there’s one of her.

Port of Edmonds Pos. 4:

Dean Nichols

The Port of Edmonds Commission race between incumbent Dean Nichols and challenger Jim Orvis is practically a coin flip. Nichols, a retired CPA, has brought financial management experience to the port in his two years on the board. Orvis, a retired Navy captain, has plenty of experience in decision making and has done his homework on the port.

The biggest difference between the two is over how the port handled the Brightwater issue. Orvis says the port’s neutrality could figure into decisions it makes on big projects in the future — a questionable contention.

Whether the port took the right approach on Brightwater is debatable. The port’s mission is to provide service to boaters and make the waterfront an attractive place for the public, and it’s done it well. From this perspective, there’s no reason to remove Nichols from office.

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