Letters to the editor

Post-election thank you

Nov 14, 2018

Thank you to everyone for their support, words of encouragement, legislative ideas for 2019 and trust!

To my opponent, your condescending remark in last week’s Beacon towards my supporters – your fellow constituents – is unbecoming of the temperament of a Senator (“Lotmore and his supporter to Liias: Return the money,” Nov. 7 edition of the Mukilteo Beacon).

Also, your response indicates that you have no intention of returning the monies you obtained without City Council approval.

I am proud to have received the endorsements not only from my party but also fellow senate candidates Riaz Khan and Scott West. The winds of change are blowing towards an inclusive district where everyone's voice will be listened to from the shores of Edmonds and Mukilteo to the hustle and bustle of Everett and Lynnwood.

To the thousands of residents I met along this journey, it was inspiring to meet so many who said I was the first political figure to have knocked on their door in over a decade.

To Hue, a Lynnwood resident, who provided a warm snack on a cold night, you exemplify the meaning of community.

To Maria and Jorge in South Everett, I will continue the fight to ending the drug epidemic plaguing our community.

To Rachel in Edmonds, the accessibility of vocational opportunities will remain a key focus of mine behind the scenes to provide more career options for many high school graduates.

To Ben in Lynnwood and Mary Ann in Mukilteo, your calls for fiscal accountability have not fallen on deaf ears.

Our message may not have reached enough residents this time, but together we will win the American Dream for everyone. Together we are strong, together we are smart, and together we are the best of what it means to be Washingtonians.

I invite everyone to a “thank you reception” on Thursday, Nov. 15, at Spiro’s Pizza – Mukilteo located at 11815 Mukilteo Speedway from 6 to 8 p.m.

This will be kid friendly. Enjoy the free food!

Mario Lotmore

State Senator Candidate

Mukilteo

 

‘Fake news’ is in the eye of the beholder

 

Regarding the letter by Terrill Cox on "fake news," Mr. Cox appears to make the same mistake in judging the media as do so many others in this divisive political time.

First off, there is a big difference between news reporting and political punditry/editorial writing.  The news reporter just “informs” us what is happening in the present.  They tell us who said what and when, who is making what claims, what facts are known and what facts are not confirmed.  They do not judge.

The pundit/editorialist expresses “opinions” about what has been said or not said, passes judgment on what is known or not known, and sometimes even makes their own claims and “facts” as they see them.

There is a big difference between these two types of media.  Unfortunately, because mainstream media outlets on both sides of the political fence have a large mix of both news reporting and punditry (and yes, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc. are mainstream!), many people lump these two types of media together as “news,” which is a mistake.

So is the news reporting profession itself falsely making up the claims being made by both sides?  If they were, that would be “fake news,” but no one is really contesting that the “claims” they are reporting on are actually being made.

Therefore, the “fake news” is driven by those who are making the unproven claims, not by the news reporting profession.

Is the news reporting profession (not the punditry) completely biased toward the liberal agenda?  As an independent centrist, I read plenty of news reporting about the “claims” being made by both sides.  There has been just as much reporting about supposedly millions of fraudulent votes by non-citizens, radical Muslims in the Central America caravans, climate change being supposedly invented by scientists, President Obama’s birth certificate, etc., as there has been about the claims being made by women against Judge Kavanaugh and so forth.

As another example, during the 2016 election I read just as much about Hillary’s email issue as I did Trump’s Access Hollywood tape.

So if I can read/watch plenty of news about the negative claims and/or actions being made by both sides, where is the bias?  The bias is in those consuming the news, not in those in the profession who just report it.

Robert Thompson

Mukilteo

 

Budget tricks run out

 

Mukilteo has a long-time council policy of estimating replacement lives of City vehicles and other large equipment. Annually transferring money to the Equipment Replacement Fund so when time to replace equipment arrives the money is available.

The mayor’s 2019 Preliminary Budget showed an ending Equipment Fund balance of $3,528,320, a substantial accumulation toward future equipment purchases. Another budget page said that balance was expected to be about $1.2 million.

My investigation found other differences. Council was then told the correct fund balance next year-end would be $319,610. Far short of the more than $1 million needed to make 2020 equipment replacements or to have any amount accumulated for subsequent years.

Mayor proposes no money be transferred to the Equipment Replacement Fund in 2019. Required money wasn’t transferred in 2018 either. 2017 also suspiciously short.

Mayor’s budget said she has always provided a balanced budget. Revenues always exceed expenditures. If transfers to the Equipment Fund had been made in accordance with budget policies, expenditures would have exceeded revenue every year.

The council has a long-standing policy called GAP. GAP is defined as expenditures expected to exceed revenues in any of the next three years. The finance director is required to make that determination and notify the council quarterly. A plan to correct expected GAP is required. No GAP has ever been reported.

Balancing the budget and avoiding GAP has technically been avoided by not making the above Equipment Fund payments and not forecasting large shortfalls in future years.

Now that the Equipment Replacement Fund is said to be $319,610 instead of $3.5 million or $1.2 million, cooking the budget is coming to an end. Insufficient money to fund forecasted equipment replacements, if budget amounts can be trusted as accurate or complying with stated policies.

The above problems are not mentioned in the mayor’s budget presented five weeks ago for proposed council approval mid-November. The above matters have not been discussed by council after noting her budget already proposes to raise annual taxes by over $800,000 without dealing with equipment replacement and other budget problems.

Council gave an unbudgeted $500,000 to the Boys & Girls Club for their new facility while failing to fund equipment needed for City operations. The club is a fine organization, like many, but the City must provide for essential City services first.

When the council approves Mukilteo’s budget, it becomes the council’s budget to defend.

Charlie Pancerzewski

Twice former councilmember

Mukilteo

 

 

 

 

 

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