Letter to the Editor: It’s Time to Decide: Vote No on Prop 1

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It's disappointing that City Council placed a significant tax increase on the ballot without citizen input. This made the need for improvements to parks and sidewalks a divisive issue in our community. Now we all must make a decision.

Council says Prop 1 only costs the average homeowner $1 per day, choosing not to mention it’s a 61% increase in property tax revenue (when did you last receive a 61% salary or social security benefit increase), or that over the next 25 years, $50,000,000 in our tax revenue can only be spent on parks and streets.

Two 3+ year old studies (PROST and Safe Streets) are Council’s basis for Prop 1. Since April 2018 there’s been no structured citizen feedback regarding either priorities or costs, and the Parks Board and Planning Commission were not involved in the process.

Council plans to spend 70% of the Prop 1 tax dollars on Parks and only 30% on Safe Streets. They estimate it will cost “$20-millionish”, take 2-3 years to develop plans and another twenty to fund, build, and pay back the bonds. 20 Park and sidewalk projects, on top of capital projects already planned is unprecedented in size and scope for a city of 13,500.

Prop 1 legally requires funds be spent only on parks and streets meaning future councils cannot use these dollars to address critical issues like climate change, homelessness, community services, crime, housing density, or infrastructure improvements

Voting NO on Prop 1 means a new Council, with three new members, can plan, prioritize, and fund the work more responsibly. They can fully engage our community, and involve the Parks Board and Planning Commission. There are three elections in 2022 - that’s plenty of time to do this right.

Don Nibouar

Lake Forest Park

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