Editorial | The ‘deciders’

The decision of the King County Council not to forward any more tax proposals to voters is not unexpected. Some may explain the Council vote in terms of political posturing, but let’s look at a wider view. In the new order imposed on us by the worldwide economic recession, the answer to most budget problems is to simply make do with less. Less in terms of this recent Council vote is couched in terms of public safety. Without more funding, the implication is that we will be less safe. Kind of scary, but is it true? County officials say that without the additional tax revenue there will be fewer officers, and less hours patrolling our streets. But what is missing in the discussion is how the county will deal with the loss of some $47 million.

We, for one, would want to know how — in detail. At the very least, having the tax issue on the ballot could most certainly have the effect of generating more public scrutiny of how money is spent or what alternative ways the deficit could be made up. We elect representatives to be leaders and make these decisions in the best interest of voters and taxpayers. We dare to hope that they are not made to push a political agenda. But politicians need to balance their views with some trust in the public. Let’s air out those budgets and take a hard look at the cost/benefit of those services. Voters should be deciding this one.

This is our third issue of the Mercer Island Reporter’s new tabloid style format. Many readers have let us know what they think about our new look and, of course, about other more weighty matters beyond. We welcome your comments, via e-mail or other means, about what concerns you within our community. We also wish to encourage readers’ participation in the surveys and contests on our Web site. Our purpose? To expand and enhance our coverage of the Island and, in the case of our current Eye on MI photo contest, remind us just why we live here — despite the rain.

And just to keep things clear, the editor of this newspaper is not related to City Councilman Mike Grady.

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