Budgeting is always about increasing expenditures, and revenue collections are up usually with the help of higher taxes. Accordingly, two questions need City Council answers prior to expenditures:
A. What is the expected return on investment (ROI)? (Definable benefits)
B. By what metric can the results be measured and logically/factually reported?
Recommendations for our City Council:
1. Exercise tougher fiduciary representation to keep spending reasonable by always insisting on optimum solutions lest we follow some major cities, states, counties and a U.S. territory or two that find themselves near insolvency/bankruptcy.
2. Exercise due diligence in taxing budgeting and spending. A big tax hike is coming soon: $47 per $100,000 of home values in our city for the public safety bond, $169 per year for Sound Transit 3 and possibly other tax increases by schools, port, city, county and state.
3. Honor the rule of law by enforcing it fairly and judiciously, not by accommodating sanctuary shelter for illegals as the city has done for several years.
4. Stop encouraging student protest and stop subsidizing Tukwila schools unless you equally subsidize other school districts that draw students from our city. Better yet, don’t subsidize any.
5. Negotiate union contracts out in the open (private sector unions do), so tax payers are privy to negotiations/settlements.
6. Commission a Fire Department (FD) study for eight-hour shifting prior to building three new stations with living quarters and reduce stations to three (two new). With state of the art instant communications and with transportation, end to end of our city, under emergency conditions around fifteen minutes, the status quo is unjustifiable. Eight-hour shifts work well for our police and hospitals which do related work and pass responsibility and authority from shift to shift. So our FD should abandon expensive living quarters and associated 48-hour shift which includes pay for maybe up to 50 percent idle time. Why build three new stations when two will do? Council action is demanded.
Aggressive fiduciary action and performance are expected of our council individually and collectively, and we need better assurances we’re getting it.