Letters to the Editor

Nov 21, 2018

Response to past CT article

 

You know what would really, really help, Community Transit and localities (looking at you, Mukilteo)? Lights at bus stops, or adding more reflectors to bus stops, or near bus stops.

Asking the general public to wave cell phones and wear reflective clothing is great and all, but so is upgrading the facilities side of the relationship.

I ride three buses in the morning and evening: 113 to Swift to 346, and very frequently the 512 into Seattle, and many, many, many Seattle bus routes.

King County Metro has lights built in to many of their bus stops (especially sheltered ones).

Why in the world can't we? There are power lines literally right near practically all bus stops (since power grids often are built above or belowground in concert with streets). Great engineering or urban planning project for a college student or class.

Or, you know, the well compensated professionals whose job it is to look at this stuff. It can be done.

If connecting to the power grid is untenable, then what about building shelters/stops with reflective material? A metal pole and white sign is all well and good, but we can do better.

Or we can go truly modern, and add renewable resource options, like solar panel powered lights!

If it can be done for the school zone lights, it can be done for bus shelters / stops. We are a growing, urbanizing city, and should no longer be doomed to rural / semi-rural mindsets.

 

 

Matthew FitzGerald

Mukilteo

 

Electeds - do your jobs

 

Mukilteo’s council spent hours discussing the mayor’s proposed 2019 budget. Council changes were not large - less than $30,000 changes to next year’s revenue estimates.

Mayor and council are required to include all expected revenues and expenses in their budget. This isn’t happening.

Mukilteo receives sales tax from ferry terminal construction. Last year Rick Singer, WSF’s Director of Finance and Administration, responded to my request for an estimate of the city’s sales tax from this project. He estimated $765,850.

Mukilteo started receiving sales tax when the tank farm dock was removed.

The mayor’s 2019 budget doesn’t include any revenue for this sales tax. The Finance Director said she would recognize it when she “sees it.” The state remits sales tax to Mukilteo lump sum monthly. Sales tax from the new terminal would not show up as a separate item so she would not “see it.” She implied terminal sales tax may not have been received in 2018 because her estimated sales tax for 2018 is less, in total, than was budgeted.

Council has not discussed the city’s sales tax revenue. Why?

It’s more significant to the budget than the other items they have spent hours discussing. If for some reason the city has not been receiving this sales tax wouldn’t they want to know why? The city can determine this through the Department of Revenue.

Finance Director is required to present a quarterly financial analysis report to the council. The report for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was postponed to Nov. 26 after the 2019 budget was scheduled to be approved Nov. 14 with changes to property tax certified to Snohomish County. Due to council travel, approving the 2019 budget was postponed to Dec. 3.

The Finance Director knows how much sales tax has been collected through October. More accurate than she and the mayor estimated on some basis several months ago when preparing the Budget.

One could speculate third quarter 2018 may show more tax received than previously estimated. More significant sales tax revenue might cause some to reconsider the proposed 12 percent city property tax increase in 2019.

Silence by the mayor and council about failure to budget for ferry terminal sales tax and no discussion of the above leads me to wonder if they want to increase property tax 12 percent without telling taxpayers who might question the need.

Omitting required budget information is inappropriate and misleading.

 

Charlie Pancerzewski

Twice former Councilmember, Mukilteo

 

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