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Talk starts early on 2014 election proposals

The Bainbridge Island City Council discussed a coming wave of tax-increasing bond and levy proposals that will wash up on the 2014 ballot, and officials said they want to chart a course early for future funding.

Councilwoman Debbi Lester reported to her fellow council members that she attended the most recent intergovernmental workgroup that gathers representatives of multiple local districts.

Lester noted that the next meeting will focus on coordinating the various bond measures districts are planning for 2014.

Mayor Steve Bonkowski, who also attended the meeting with City Manager Doug Schulze, also weighed in and shared concerns that voters will have a full plate in 2014.

“It sounds like every organization is putting up a bond in 2014. We may do a road bond starting this year. The earliest we can do that is in 2014,” Bonkowksi said.

“The parks district wants to have a land acquisition bond, the school district is going to have a technology levy,” he added, further noting that the fire district is also considering its own levy request.

“It’s going to be an interesting 2014,” Bonkowski said. “I have no idea if it’s a good idea to have everybody asking for money at the same time.”

Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos took note of accumulating proposals that may land on the ballot.

“We need to get on it immediately,” she said. “We need to start talking with the community right now and make a compelling case. We only get 12.5 percent of the tax bill.”

The council will likely begin talking about the coming budget, and any bonds that may play a part, in June.

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