Vote yes on Advisory Measure No. 1 | Letter

Last night, Oct. 13, at the candidate forum, much attention was given to the idea that public safety should not be compromised as we look at additional budget cuts. This is what one expects to hear. Much attention was given to the increase in crime on Tukwila International Boulevard after the Neighborhood Resource Center was shutdown.

Last night, Oct. 13, at the candidate forum, much attention was given to the idea that public safety should not be compromised as we look at additional budget cuts.  This is what one expects to hear. Much attention was given to the increase in crime on Tukwila International Boulevard after the Neighborhood Resource Center was shutdown.

This is where rhetoric diverges from reality.  Did you know that we lost the Neighborhood Resource Center due to budget cuts?  Did you know that our TACT or Tactical Anti-Crime Team lost a detective position due to budget cuts?  Did you know that a Crime Prevention officer position was lost? Did you know that we lost one of our three traffic police officers? Did you know that our firefighters union gave up their COLA  to save positions and help our city?

Taken a little further, did you know that budget cuts resulted in the loss of our pre-school program at the community center? Did you know Tukwila Days disappeared due to budget cuts? Did you know that senior programs were cut back and participation costs in community center programs sharply rose due to budget cuts?  Folks, the list is very long. The budget was cut to the bone.

These kinds of details get lost, hidden or ignored. Oh, we can take a look at that. (they say)  Maybe we can do something with this.  Maybe we can do something with the pay and benefits packages of our employees.  The firefighter’s union, the police officers guild, the chamber of commerce, the mayor, the over 350 residents of Tukwila who petitioned the council can see the handwriting on the wall. They all know the likely impacts of another $2,000,000 hole punched into our budget. This is why they support a yes vote.

We now know based on reports from our police department that there are no crime issues associated with the existing casinos. The police department report is on our website. There are no social costs associated with the casinos. Go to city hall and check the budget. The reason: over 90 percent of the gaming clientele come from outside Tukwila.

We also know that the number of card rooms in Washington state has dropped from over 90 to just over 60 in the past 5 years. Indian casinos are taking a larger and larger percentage of the overall market. And we also know that the City Council has already adopted ordinance 2349. Check it out in the records section of the city website. Just one additional  casino would bump the gaming tax by 50 percent from 10 percent to 15 percent and put all of the casinos out of business.

And why, why, why do we ignore the human impact? As city programs are cut, more of our great city employees will lose their jobs… again. Approximately 450 casino employees and their families will lose their jobs and I am sure that it is little consolation to them that council member Robertson thinks that…oh, they will just be transferred to other locations. They will be out on the street looking for work and in the unemployment lines. Would you want to be in that position in this economy right now?

For more information, visit familiesforabetterTukwila.org.

Vote for fiscal responsibility. Vote for compassion by saving jobs. Vote to save the programs and services that are so vital to our families.

Vote yes on Tukwila Advisory Measure 1.

Chuck Parrish,

Families for a Better Tukwila

Tukwila

[flipp]

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