Shame on Beacon for giving ex-mayors a voice | Letter

May 28, 2014

What a huge disappointment to see last week's Beacon front page headline story, "Ex-mayors: Fire services contract doesn't make sense" give any credibility to the actions taken by the previous mayor regarding the Fire District 1 contract for services discussion [May 21].

The previous mayor's clear and obvious bias against Fire District 1 was well known and a major obstacle to any positive progress. The damage has been done and now I'd say the previous mayor's council cronies may have the ignorance to vote in opposition.

While it's true the previous mayor was "working" on investigating the feasibility of contracting with Fire District 1 for services, it was only after the council pushed the issue. The mayor and his staff were deliberately dragging their feet and leaving out Mukilteo expenses throughout the analysis.

You see, the previous mayor, his buddy the finance director and their council cronies were still stinging from their belief that Fire District 1 thwarted their efforts for annexation. Mukilteo voters opposed annexation in an advisory vote.

The bias against Fire District 1 and our own fire department by these Mukilteo officials was painfully obvious to anyone paying attention and so the "analysis" presented to the council was never portrayed as favorable.

Suspiciously, the arbitration costs, budget amendments for "necessary" overtime, and future equipment replacement costs never seemed to make it in the analysis.

For me, the icing on the cake has to be that our former finance director, who was very outspoken about the mistake Edmonds made by contracting with Fire District 1, recently went to work for them.

So, the previous mayor may get his wish and delay the contract for at least two years; until Mukilteo voters can replace a couple of his council cronies who will likely ignore the $9 million savings now being forecast.

We can only hope that if this decision does go before Mukilteo voters, it won't be under the same guise as the previous community center vote these two ex-mayors orchestrated, 'If it doesn't result in a tax increase, would you rather have a new community center or renovate the existing one?"

Hopefully, we've learned our lesson when we look at what we lost and didn't replace (gym, dedicated meeting space for seniors and community groups, to name a few) with the new center.

Perhaps the vote could be more along the lines, “Would you rather increase your taxes and continue as-is or contract with Fire District 1 (supported by our current firefighters and providing a higher level of service to Mukilteo residents) for a $9 million savings?”

Perhaps the council could using the $9 million savings to help pay the almost $1 million per year deficit being enjoyed by the new community center.

Kevin Stoltz,

Former Mukilteo City Councilmember

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