Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let’s save money for actual needs

To the editor:

Like many other families on South Whidbey we would love to have a recreation center that includes a pool.

As homeowners and taxpayer swe must also balance our desires with reality. The reality in our county is that revenues are going down. One of our commissioners stated at a recent meeting that county government projected up to a 10-percent reduction in expenses in 2009.

Due to lack of finances, our sheriff’s office has not filled vacant positions and is one of the lowest- staffed in the state. Our courts do not have a bailiff or security systems in place. The food banks are at an all-time low. Our national economy is in a crisis.

The research that I was able to complete on the recreation center project gave me a vague picture at best of what this project could actually end up costing. The city of Lynnwood will be adding onto their existing recreation center and doing some remodeling to a smaller project than our proposed one. Their estimated cost is $25 million. They will get this money by doubling their utility taxes.

The community recreation center bond issue for construction will result in a tax of 17.4 cents per $1,000. Are the maintenance-and-operation costs included in this figure?

Current parks M&O costs are $.15 per estimated $1,000.

The estimated M&O increase for the community recreation center is 2 to 3 cents per $1,000 of property value. I do not know what cost analysis was done for this estimation. There are also the uncalculated costs of an astronomical electric bill to pay for heating pools, hot tubs, lighted courts and daily normal use.

How many chemicals will we need to bring Maxwelton water to standards sanitary enough for public pools? A proposed solution is to pay for water from South Whidbey School District; another unestimated cost and not currently approved.

My family works hard to live on this beautiful island. At this point, any tax increase should be used to fund actual needs.

Leslie Shea Brinkman


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