LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Transportation Benefit District Bill Failed Becase It Was “Wrong-Headed”

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Burien’s proposed vehicle license fee went down to a resounding defeat (75% voted no) NOT because voters don’t think sidewalks and bike routes are good things.

It went down because it was wrong-headed.

Regardless of the resounding defeat, the city council still has the power to impose a $20 annual license fee without voter approval. Will the council defy the voters to impose this fee anyway?

And don’t forget, any neighborhood in need of improvements can form a Local Improvement District (LID) to assess itself for street improvements (the city will help with that). Broad improvements are obviously a responsibility of the larger community (check your City Light bill for the costs of undergrounding utilities in the First Avenue improvement area).

I believe the residents, voters and taxpayers (not always the same people) of Burien want a shiny, people friendly community. I believe Burien voters and taxpayers (often the same people) are not selfish, stingy, or mean-spirited. I believe the taxpayers (including those most able to pay) of Burien appreciate their obligation to the greater good of the community. We are not all about ourselves.

Later this year, the city council may be talking about a possible general property tax increase in 2010. Perhaps it was thoughtless to schedule that discussion with a revenue increase lurking on the current ballot. Having lost the current measure, the council should take some time to reconnect with the community. With 3 of 4 council seats uncontested in this election, there is a disconnect.

I am confident the people of Burien are supportive of maintaining quality public services; provided the council is clear about the need, has implemented noticeable and substantive cost-reduction and efficiency strategies, and sticks to the basics like the rest of us.

Everyone who lives in Burien is our neighbor and we are our brother’s keeper. We should all pitch in to make sure we have the community we want. Please get out and sweep the streets to keep the drains clear. Thank you.

– Stephen Lamphear

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Have something you’d like to say? Then email us your “Letter to the Editor” by clicking here. Be sure to include your real name and a way to contact you, and, pending our review (for libel, etc.), we’ll most likely post it. Otherwise, feel free to leave a Comment below…]

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