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Clean house at city hall
I just finished reading the article regarding the citys plan to raise taxes AGAIN. I am outraged, as I am sure many other citizens of this city are. My property taxes alone are now in the $2,000 range. How can the city be crying that they are on the verge of bankruptcy? More like corruption, if you ask me.
We purchased our house in 1994, and since then my house payment has gone up almost $200, due only to the property taxes going up. We have one of the highest sales taxes around, higher than Burlington, higher than Bellingham. Our city is getting money revenue from that. Heck, their take on Wal-Mart alone must be at least a million a year.
Maybe it isnt so much that they dont have the money, as it is that they cant manage the money. We dont even use it for practical things. When was the last time someone edged the highway coming into town? The grass is just hanging over the edge of the sidewalks. Tacky. Now we have Beeksma memorial part to maintain as well.
I personally believe we could fire some police officers. Half of them dont work for the money they get anyway. Several years back my son gave a friend a ride home from school. When his friend got out of our car he took off with a Nintendo 64, and a game valued at $300. We called the police, showed them this kids picture from an old yearbook, and told them where he lived. Do you know what they did? Nothing! Not a thing. They told me and I quote, Hes bad news, we dont want to mess with him. So I took it upon myself to go to his place of work and demand the property back, and within minutes the police were at my house telling me that I would be arrested if I harassed him at work again. Dont get me wrong. There are some great cops on our force who genuinely care, and try to make a difference, and they should be kept. But we could cull out a few of them.
There are ways the city could help to cut back on the debt they incur. For starters they could stop building housing developments that are creating this need to bank money for future repairs and upgrading on the sewers. People wonder why so many businesses start and close in such a short amount of time? Well, they probably dont make enough to pay the taxes! I think we should take a long hard look at the officials we have elected to run this city, and ask ourselves, Are they really doing all they can to run this city efficiently? I think not.
My worry is for the elderly who live within the city limits who live on fixed incomes. How are they supposed to live? Its hard enough for those of us with working class incomes. I have a friend who was charged $6 extra on her garbage bill because her lid wasnt shut tight. Where is all the money going? One has to wonder.
We recently passed a levy, supposedly so our students would have a hot lunch program this year. Where is it? No doubt spent on the Alaska Federal Credit Union building. I am sick of the taxes being raised to specifically fix problems that never get fixed. Its time for the mayor to clean house, and get some people in there that can actually make a difference. Geez, maybe we should start with her.
Julie Wiggins lives in Oak Harbor.