Open letter about our Senior Center | Letters | Jan. 29
January 29, 2010 · 12:05 PM
As you wade into the waters of repairing, expanding or moving the senior center, I am requesting that you reflect on what the role of the City of Bainbridge Island should be in these times of severe economic uncertainty.
I read recently that the city once again needs to borrow funds from one department to pay for an insurance bill that is due.
That single fact alone indicates that our City is not solvent enough to even conduct what could be construed as the “regular business of a city.”
Thus, I will postulate that our city is in no condition to begin the design of a new or expanded senior center.
We already own and operate the building that currently houses the senior center.
So it makes sense to me that this building be kept in good repair, and that it is indeed the job of our city to maintain infrastructure that it already controls.
I beg you to refrain from starting down the road to any other new building projects until all the city’s roads and utilities are brought up to acceptable standards.
From the outside, it appears that the city can barely take care of what it already owns, and is in no position to fund anything new for the time being.
Please refrain from being swept away with another round of undue optimism that a project you are considering will be paid for by grants, a planned future sale of city properties, or some other possibly imaginary income sources.
Our city must stick to basics for the time being. Please, first prove to our citizens that you can effectively run a city for two years, pay all your bills on time, and begin to replenish a rainy-day fund.
If you and our new form of government can demonstrate fiscal responsibility, our populace will be more likely to embrace city support of expenditures on “non-essentials” at a later date.
Please do not construe my statements to be in opposition to seniors (I am one, by some accounts), or to the arts, or to human services.
I am, in fact, only opposed to spending beyond one’s means under any circumstances.
Only after our City regains its financial balance will it once again be able to support a broad range of services to benefit the citizenry.
Please shepherd our limited financial resources with great care!