Letters to the Editor

Oak Harbor: Voters knew the impacts

I don’t quite understand why our esteemed Mayor Cohen and Finance Director Merriman (News-Times, Feb. 23) insist on pointing a crooked finger at tax initiatives I-695 and I-747 as the road to ruin for our town. Or are they accusing the voters of being ill informed about the consequences of passing the initiatives?

I knew, if I voted for these initiatives and they passed, I would be contributing to requirement that city officials across Washington State would finally have to be fiscally responsible to there citizens (not the other way around) and understand that the tax payers have had it with pork-barrel “non-essential services” and other programs that never required justification other than stating that they were for the community good.

From the article, it is plain to see that the initiatives have, in fact, done exactly what they were intended to do. The Honorable Mayor Cohen points out she has already cut 16 city jobs out of 145 (must have been the waste disposal people that picked up my trash, because service has decreased while prices have increased), reorganized departments and cross-trained employees. These are all worthwhile endeavors for any company when they are trying to cut costs and improve margins. So what’s so gloomy about doing what you were voted into office to do?

I agree with Mr. Merriman’s view that “city officials must ‘reinvent ourselves’ or face bankruptcy in the near future”. Yes, you must learn how to serve your constituents without draining their wallets of every last hard earned nickel. What a concept.

Richard Smolen

Oak Harbor

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