Letter--Normandy Park mayor says thanks for levy passage

With the successful Normandy Park levy lid lift behind us, it is time to be thankful for the outcome. City Councils in the past have long avoided taking on this difficult task of passing a tax levy. As a member of the Pro Committee, it seemed ironic that I would be in support of higher property taxes. I first ran for office on a platform of stopping new fees and sales tax increases. I consider myself a financial conservative and am a pensioner who is thankful for social security.

Yet, having worked on the council now for the last nine years and having seen all the cuts, layoffs, and depleted reserves, I knew it had to be done to help save this gem of a city. More has to be done to bolster revenues as we continue looking at ideas to lower costs.

Firstly, I want to thank our police guild members who spent hours of their personal off time in building the signs, planting them out and keeping them up. Survey after survey has shown that the citizens put keeping our independent and pro-active police force as the foremost goal of the city. It takes the biggest part of our budget, but we are committed to them and their job of keeping our city a safe place for our families.

Second, I am grateful that Karen Steele stepped forward to chair the Pro Committee. She brought experience that proved so helpful: organizing volunteers to hand out our flyers door to door in assigned neighborhoods, a phone bank, writing the flyers, as well as soliciting funds from local developers and businesspersons to help pay for the signs.

She obtained a donation of recycled wooden stakes and determined the sign layout. Her husband, Bill, allowed us to use the shop portion of his garage to assemble the signs. She was committed because she clearly saw the devastation to our city that a loss would bring.

The passage of a property tax increase in these tough times by over sixty-five percent of voters shows that the people have been following what the city has been doing and are themselves committed to do what is necessary to keep our city independent.

To the naysayers: I say, I hope we can earn your trust in the future. I see no easy fixes. No excess workers, million dollar bike lanes, or pensions we can cut. The easy work was done long ago. Now it is looking at our few remaining programs and expenses; and doing what we can do to help fill our empty and under-utilized retail centers. Thank you to all our voters. Thank you to all our volunteers. This is only a part of the effort that has to continue to rebuild our city.

Clarke Brant
N.P. Levy Lid Lift Pro Committee
Council Member/Mayor

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