Non-mandated programs needed
November 20, 2009 · Updated 11:02 AM
With all due respect to our police, fire and other “mandated” programs, I will note the following in response to the elected officials’ letter (Whidbey News-Times, Nov. 7).
1. “Essential” is an adjective which can describe non-mandated programs as well as mandated programs. Park, Senior Services and WSU extension programs may well be essential to South Whidbey residents.
To save $740,000 by eliminating such services when $736,000 could be saved by a change (not an elimination) in medical insurance for county union employees would be questionable public policy.
2) Why is the “10 percent contingency fund of $2.2 million and $900,000 extra cash as well as the $3 million in cash mentioned in the letter not available to avoid the elimination of park, Senior Services and WSU Extension program funding?
3) It makes sense to review the “increased outlays” in private contracts in light of the county’s immediate needs.
4) It is disturbing that Officer Crownover, representing our patrol deputies, would be making ultimatums to the people of South Whidbey he and they are sworn to support and defend.
I fail to see the connection between an increase to a “public defense” contract and eliminating essential, though non-mandated public services.
5) If an 8 percent, or whatever it takes, reduction in budgets is necessary, it would seem equitable to apply such reductions to all programs, mandated or not.