Our votes of city officials matter

We live in a world of optics (the very best spin on all subjects — sales pitches) light on facts, important details and cost and our city’s elected tend to exercises such to exhaustion. Accountability has become extremely important simply because few of our elected class, nation wide, hold themselves religiously to their promises contained in their campaign literature and attendant rhetoric. Therefore, the electorate individually and collectively must insist on knowing what the candidates’ promise and when elected hold them accountable.

Its admirable that candidates want to serve and our votes must elect those whose acumen is to keep cost, expenditures and taxes reasonable and logical and who will ask themselves the fiduciary question before they cast each vote and also beg the question of their accountability. Our city’s elected are likable people who selflessly serve and my only issue therewith is some of their policies with which I take issue as stated in my letters in the Tukwila Reporter over the past year.

But there are all too few instances where our city’s elected have openly demonstrated these tacit responsibilities and our duty is to see they so do. For example, the issue of extending Strander Boulevard was presented to the council implying it would be beneficial in moving traffic bound for elsewhere out of the city and therefore great for Tukwila. It failed to address the benefits, if any, to the city’s taxpayers and the council vote (one no) was given without knowing the cost thereof or how it would be paid for. A case can also be made for the costs and optics associated with the low ball $77 million GOB, sanctuary city, the village and a whole host of issues associated therewith is part of the mix with high costs and unstated tax payer benefits. Transparency lacking but needed.

Our votes in our city’s election, need to elect people whose acumen is to make wise and reasoned decisions not people who will go along to get along and cast their votes in unison. Let’s insist on stated cost benefits to taxpayers of each ordnance before it is council approved.

Incentive contracting and incentive budgeting could be easily implemented immediately on a trial basis if our elected were desirous of an acumen decision of real cost cutting. Not to be overlooked is the use of questionnaire mailers to involve all city residents in deciding the direction of our city rather than the captive few who participate in the city’s outreach program. Let’s insist on transparency on the $77 million GOB and the total cost of the public safety plan, cost of the village to taxpayers and the actual cost, not optics, and benefits to city taxpayers. Accountability, fiduciary acumen, transparency, return on investment and cost benefits should be an integral part of all future ordnance presented for council approval.

We must also be vigilant of outside campaign money from big influential organizations. It would be refreshing to hear candidates for city positions pledges no outside organization money in our city’s elections nor endorsements from public unions governed by our city’s elected.

Our city’s elected can, should and must do better.

Bill Holstine

Tukwila

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