LETTER: ‘More Police Officers vs new schools and the money for neither…’

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, posted exactly as written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

More Police Officers vs New Schools And The Money For Neither.

We have lived here in the city of Des Moines for ten years now, we have seen a steady decline in the quality of our city, we are both angered and saddened by what is taken place in our city, from the abandoned and empty store fronts in our business district to the rising and out of control crime that now plagues our city, our elected city leaders here in Des Moines seem to be silent and no where to be seen or heard.

We have seen a number of our friends and neighbors sell their homes and move in search of a better community to raise their children others still have their home on the market waiting for their home to sell before they to can leave.

It is all too common now to hear from one of our friends and neighbors that their car, garage or home has been broken into even when we go shopping to Fred Meyers or Safeway or the new Normandy Park Market our cars are broken into. We even had our backyard shed broken into and all of my lawn equipment and pressure washer was stolen, ABC Market here in Des Moines has been robbed and burglarized three times just in the last month, the new pizza parlor in Normandy Park was robbed at gun point. We are no longer safe in our community.

When we first bought our home the majority of all the crime in our city was on or east of Pacific Highway, well that is no longer the case, even our locking community mail boxes are no longer safe from the criminals that now roam our neighborhoods with ease.

We have talked to our city’s police officers they are well aware of the increased crime in our city and are doing their best with what they have to work with, we are told that our city just does not have the resources ( the money ) to hire additional police officers that our city so dearly needs to battle our out of control crime and keep us safe.

The school bond failed this past November, now three months later the exact same bond is back on the ballot? this time it’s packaged with a levy for over 500 million dollars yes half a Billion dollars of Higher Increased Taxes just for the Highline School District with zero explanation or information to be included in our Voters Pamphlet?

Why is it that our City’s that we live in and The Highline School District are so broken?

If we are voting to increase our property taxes our City Leaders and the Highline School Board needs to understand that the safety of our family members and neighbors come first over new schools, this school bond and levy needs to be voted down again we need to demand more police officers for our cities.

If we are going to attract quality middle class working family’s back to our communities it starts with a crime free or at least a low crime rate city not new schools!

Highline School Board will be presenting a three year M&O Levy for the same amount as our four year Levy, without any explanation of the significant increase. I will be voting no this time on both the school bond and the school levy and will urge our friends and neighbors to do the same, if we are being asked again and again to raise our property taxes with one bond and levy after another our tax dollars should go first for more police officers.

We are no longer safe in our cities, We Are Highline.

– John Castronover
Des Moines WA

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11 Responses to “LETTER: ‘More Police Officers vs new schools and the money for neither…’”
  1. parker says:

    I have to seriously disagree with voting down the school bond. Our children deserve decent, safe, and comfortable places to learn. I am sorry you feel so unsafe, but investment in education is one way to deter crime. Children who feel cared for by their community are less likely to turn to a life of crime. I suppose you can just go ahead and vote no, but there are several planned public meetings being organized by the Highline school district to answer questions you might have about the levy plan. If you want explanations go and ask for them. Please don’t sit on your couch and let a few loud complainers tell you to vote no because they are unhappy with their neighborhoods. One more thing, you know what brings house values up? Really great schools. How do we get great
    Schools? Fund them!

    • Highline Parent says:

      So let’s go ask the wolves that are guarding the sheep what their game plan is and we will get the honest answers, I think not my no vote will speak louder.

    • John says:

      The super majority is the law and was passed by the voters. It is not unfair, it is a safeguard against exactly the kind of tax increases with no fiscal controls that this bond represents.
      We will be voting against this bond and we encourage everyone else to vote NO also.
      It doesn’t mean we don’t support schools or aren’t willing to support an increase of $750.00 or so in our property taxes. But BEFORE we pay out hundreds more dollars in taxes we want a fiscally responsible bill which this one before us now definitely is NOT!

      • Earl Gipson says:

        Please tell our Senior Citizens and those on fixed incomes that a $750 annual increase that they won’t mind either. As a Citizenof SeaTac, a 6 percent utility tax was just shoved down our throats by the Council with no vote by the taxpayers (~$350 annually).

        Blood and turnips with no return on the investment but attracting yet more crime and those that cannot pay their own way and appear far from willing to. So much for a hand up versus a hand out.

        No on this bond issue.

    • John says:

      Yeah lets fund the schools which is something this bond does very poorly. So poorly in fact it should be voted down! Do the research before taking a stand this bond is flawed!

  2. Loren says:

    Elections have consequences. We are blue as blue can be.

    • Highline Parent says:

      Vice President Tyrone Curry, we voted you in office because we believed in you, we felt you would be our voice , so far you have failed us., as tax payers we have no more to give, just like our city councils as tax payers we have no more to give.

  3. Lee Moyer says:

    In the long run, good schools do more to reduce crime than a strong police force. However, they are not mutually exclusive. Like our whole infrastructure, both suffer from the myopic selfishness of the anti tax fanatics that keeps us from investing in our future.

    Like before, I will join the majority of my district voters to support the levy and try to overcome the unfair super majority requirement that defeated the levy last time.

    • JP says:

      I’m not anti tax I’m anti stupid. You don’t give a fortune to a government entity (HSD in this case) that has proved to be incompetent in the past just because they ask for it a second time. The fact is good school districts cannot be created with tax dollars. They are created by caring parents and educators who want to be there. So how do you create that? Jobs. Good ones. The nice places to live have a thriving business climate (name one place where this isn’t true) so invest in the business climate. Protect those people. I’m not talking about CVS and Albertsons – I’m talking about Bartells, the Tin Room, White Cap, 909, people and businesses who live in or at least care for (trader joes) our community. They bring jobs. Those jobs bring families. Families bring tax revenue through spending. These people are less likely to commit crimes further reducing costs. They’re more likely to participate meaningfully in schools and communities.

      Or I guess you could legislate an unrealistic wage minimum, protect the homeless, raise taxes for continued funding of underperforming entities, elect city councils that don’t abstain from votes in which they have conflicts of interest, and underfund the police remembering to protest against them when they shoot somebody who just attacked them.

  4. Sensible Spending on Our Schools says:

    At $376 Million, THIS Highline School Bond represents a 58% increase to our school property taxes. It does not represent fiscal responsibility because the Highline School District isn’t acquainted with that concept. This bond is not about the students. Don’t let them mislead you. It is a plan to overspend in a community that cannot afford the millions that they want for a plan that is not fiscally nor scholastically responsible.

  5. John says:

    We need our own police department. We need more public safety in our town.
    I would support a bond that increases my property taxes if it will result in a safer community to live in. Safer community = Higher property values. Investing in a police department would pay big dividends to property owners in the long run. Throwing the money down a fiscal black hole to pay for the bond that the Highline school district has presented the voters with will not.

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