Letters to the Editor

Spending leaning heavy on Winslow | Letters, Dec. 20

My three reasons for rejecting the 2009-2010 budget are as follows:

1. Spending is still highly Winslow-centric. In so many ways it reflects the notion that Bainbridge Island is all about what happens within the city boundaries that ceased to exist some 20 years.

I fully understand that pillaging the hinterlands to 1) pay for building urban monuments and 2) to support the King’s/Queen’s/Pharaoh’s servants has a long tradition. However, the pendulum has swung too far. After all, how many citizens on Bainbridge Island really consider Winslow Way as their living room?

2. The city is at the front end of an economic storm without adequate financial reserves. The contingency fund for 2009 is just $200,000, and claimed reserves are funded with the same cash needed for operational working capital.

While the Council may have voted to begin addressing this problem by the end of 2009, the 2009-2014 Capital Facilities Plan says otherwise.

Total beginning working capital in the tax supported funds on Jan. 1, 2009 is projected to be $3,438,000, but will steadily decline by almost a million dollars within three years. Talk’s cheap, Show me the money!

3. The 2009-2010 budget fails to address a deep flaw in the city’s operational model. As a semi-rural area with most of its revenue based on residential real estate it cannot fund municipal services as if it was a denser more urban area.

The cost of any one thing is what you have to give up for it. Maintaining the character of the island requires more creative thinking, such as becoming like the City of Kenmore, which contracts with other public and private entities for police, public works and other services.

Daniel Smith

Bainbridge Island

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