Sign of the times

Deputy Mayor “very troubled by signs that went up over the Island this weekend” regarding levy.

We are all very fortunate to call ourselves Islanders. We enjoy a safe and special community that values the well-being of all residents. We also value honest debate about issues that concern us all.

That is why I was very troubled by signs that went up over the Island this weekend. They include statistics and arguments that are misleading and incomplete.

FACT: Our city faces a financial crisis that will reduce funding for police/fire services, school resource officers, school counseling, senior services and parks programs and maintenance.

FACT: Prop 1 preserves essential services and commits the city to further accountability and cost-reduction programs.

FACT: Since 2007 state law has limited the annual growth of city revenue from our property taxes to one percent, while regional inflation is more than three percent. For more than 10 years, the city has lived with this limit by tightly managing expenses, driving efficiencies and dipping into reserves.

FACT: A comprehensive study by a diverse citizens’ advisory group, an independent financial expert and the City Council all concluded that the city can no longer avoid service cuts through efficiencies alone.

FACT: Prop 1 will cost the average home owner $1.02 a day ($374 a year) over the next six years.

Don’t be fooled by misleading claims. Islanders will have the opportunity to vote on Nov. 6 to maintain our quality of life or have council implement very real cuts to the services that help make Mercer Island the amazing place it is.

I hope you will join me in keeping this a special place for our kids, families and seniors and voting YES for Prop 1.

Salim Nice

Mercer Island deputy mayor

*the opinions expressed herein are his alone