Issues to consider during election season | Letter to the Editor

This is an election year. Here are some issues to consider:

1. Public employee contracts (PECs) should be negotiated in public so taxpayers know what unions ask for, what the city offers and the settlements.

The people who pay taxes to fulfill the contract obligations have the right to know. After all, private sector union contracts are negotiated publicly and so PECs should be also.

2. The process by which ordinances and resolutions are created, processed and approved by the council is a closed-loop system controlled by the council. City residents may attend committee meetings and might be heard if time permits. This is basically the only opportunity a citizen has to potentially influence an ordinance, except indirectly through elections every two years.

Citizens can speak for five minutes on each when the ordinance/resolution comes before the Committee of the Whole for a consensus vote to forward it to the full council and at the council meeting where council votes are taken. In either case, it’s basically too late for one to influence the outcome. If one wishes to influence either, start early in the respective committee and you might be heard.

3. Our City Council is throwing money at too many things instead of being more cautious and upholding its fiduciary duty, that is keeping a tight hold on the city’s purse strings.

Tukwila is not a regional government and should act like the small city we actually are. We give funds to other cities, to the Tukwila School District and other entities without the benefit of insisting on a return on investment. Why give any? Moreover, the city discriminates against other school districts that draw students from our city by not equally subsidizing those students like Tukwila students enjoy. Should boondoggles such as the National League of Cities and International County/City Management Association memberships be scrapped? Should our council be less social bent and more business oriented? Should less emphasis be on growing the city and more on governing, caring for and improving what we already have, and above all keeping taxes low?

We need to change the culture of our city, not gender or race related, but some City Council policies.

Suggested City Council motto: We tax and spend no end, if we’re short, we tax again.

— Bill Holstine