Tukwila faces important issues this election | Letter to the Editor

This is an election year and four council seats are up for grabs. Do we need/want change or to keep the status quo for our city? Here are some issues to consider before you run for one of these seats or while making up your mind to cast your important vote in November.

1. Our city is not a declared Sanctuary City but behaves like one when it does not inquire about immigration status during routine police stops. City code allows for recreational pot shops in certain areas in the city, and the city has received a request to open one. Both issues are in violation of federal law. Both are sanctioned by our governor.

The intent of our city’s diverse, inclusive and tolerant resolution basically is not concerned with and, in fact, discourages inquiries about the immigration status of alien residents. So how do we identify alien criminals who are among our population, let alone remove them therefrom? The rule of law cannot be violated by states and uphold the sanctity of the union of the U.S.A. For in the words of Abraham Lincoln, a nation divided cannot long stand, and the banner so prominently displayed in the Council Chamber all last year expressed the same sentiments. It’s time for both our state and city to enforce these federal laws.

2. According to city literature, three new fire stations are being sited for construction. It is totally silent on the need, desire or plan for and does not call for an in-depth study to determine if one fewer station can meet Fire Department (FD) needs and fire insurance requirements and whether some efficiencies could be achieved, all of which could reduce the construction costs and the annual cost of manning the FD. Therefore, three new stations are a given and one existing for a total of four. Forthcoming biosensors will drastically change the medical field and treatment and no doubt further impact our FD. This whole issue is about costs only, not questioning performance nor the indispensability of our FD.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (2015) statistics, just more than 4 percent of calls to FDs nationally are fire related, 64 percent are medically related (in 1980 those numbers were 6.8 percent and 61.8 percent respectively). This shows that fewer and fewer fire calls are being placed and suggests that downsizing and changes in modus operandi in FDs may be warranted. The coveted endorsement of council people over the years by fire, police and other public employee unions represent a conflict of interest and gives the appearance of reciprocity (you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours). Council candidates should decline such (red herring) endorsements and remove all doubt of a conflict of interest.

Anyone feeling daring, toss your hat in the ring, doorbell the neighborhoods and win a council seat.

– Bill Holstine

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