I am a senior citizen. I have resided on Mercer Island since 1989. A significant and increasing portion of my living expenses are taxes. The rate at which my taxes — property, vehicle and such add-ons as Mercer Island utility — far exceed the fixed income and earnings on lifetime savings grows.
For example, my real property taxes have increased almost 20 percent this year alone. The Sound Transit tax on my 12-year-old pick-up has increased from $32 to $651, which is almost 10 percent of the value of that vehicle this year.
The claim that “lean is in our DNA” by the City Council and mayor is belied by readily observable city behavior. For example, at considerable cost, probably in excess of $500,000 a signal was installed on Island Crest Way south of Southeast 31st Street. A pedestrian activated flashing lighted crosswalk would have more than adequately dealt with the perceived need for traffic control at this location for about $7,500.
City crews with multiple workers and pieces of equipment are commonly used for minor street patching and repair work. Many municipalities use small works roster contractors as authorized by RCW Chapter 39.04 for this type of work thereby reducing employee expense with attendant pension exposure.
A no vote on a tax increase will make clear that we expect our City Council and city manager to fulfill their responsibilities as the fiduciaries of the Mercer Island fisc.