Stories show ‘no’ vote is needed | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
June 25, 2011 · 10:55 AM
To the editor:
Two articles in the Saturday, June 18 South Whidbey Record are very important for voters.
City’s legal fees hit high mark documents the excessive amount of legal fees already expended due to the cost to us for the city’s legal need to change its original decision to deny the application of the Langley Passage development. The city expected to spend $35,000 this year but at the end of May had already spent $34,457 and we have seven months to go. Not mentioned in the article, the pending city defense of a $4.5 million lawsuit filed by a former city employee.
Edgecliff voters not likely to sway Prop. 1 election is a very welcome analysis of voter records in Langley.
Prop. 1 advocates changing to a city manager-council form of government. Let’s use our common sense and connect the dots between the two articles.
The overage on our legal fees resulted from a city council decision. A city manager would not have prevented the city council from making the decision it did. The city manager wouldn’t have any say at all in the decision. The decision is strictly in the decision domain of the city council.
Why should we change to a city manager at this time? The very real ripple effect of good green money going out the door will continue until all real and potential lawsuits are settled.
Because of city council imposed legal fees, it can be postulated that our finances are a bit broken. But a city manager form of government will not fix that. In fact, it could worsen the problem. The expenses of the recruitment, administrative changes and consequent salary are additional costs if Prop. 1 is approved. Remember, the pending employee lawsuit is just starting — we have no way to determine what that is going to cost for ongoing legal defense of the city.
Please consider that we can’t even entertain a return to our current strong mayor system for six years if Prop. 1 passes.
Ask yourself the questions that are important to you.
For me, a couple of those questions are: Why now? Do I want checks and balances regardless of the occasional breakdown in an elected official fully using their veto power? Can we afford the expense of a manager based on no real benefit in spending that money?
After pondering your options I hope you’ll join me in voting against Prop 1.