LETTER: Why not build new schools instead of new prisons?

To the editor:
I hope my Normandy Park neighbors will carefully consider the benefits of passing the Highline School District Proposition 1.   Highline residents have not passed a levy for 10 years and prior to that there were many years when levy after levy failed.  Anyone suggesting that our school district is at fault for not properly maintaining our aging schools after years of neglected funding is woefully unaware why supporting our schools now is so crucial.

Asking the owner of a house assessed at $500,000 to pay $33 more per month in annual property tax is not unreasonable.  No one likes paying higher taxes but everyone likes having higher property values and the quality of our school district directly impacts property values.  If our schools don’t measure up to schools in surrounding cities, Normandy Park loses potential buyers to Mercer Island, Bellevue and others areas with highly ranked school districts. 

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LETTER: Poor evaluations?

To the Editor of the Westside Weekly
The October 14, 2016 edition of your newspaper ran a peculiar item titled “Mystery at Burien City Hall-A mini-series”.  It is unclear whether this is a factual news reporting article or an editorial opinion.  It raises questions about why so many department heads have left City Hall.  The only individual that can answer that question is the City Manager and it appears he was not contacted for comment.  In City Manager run cities, like Burien, the person who controls hiring, management, evaluation and firing of staff is the City Manager.  The Council has no direct control of staff.
The only person the Council can hire or fire staff is the City Manager.  If the climate is/was toxic at City Hall, the City Manager is/was responsible for managing that.  This article seems to suggest that the Council manages City Staff.  Not true and it would be wrong to expect the Mayor to comment on staff issues.

I attend and watch Council meetings regularly and never recall hearing the Mayor publically calling for Gurol’s dismissal in 2015.

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LETTER: South King levy not a new tax

To the editor:
South King Fire & Rescue (SKFR) needs your support to continue the expiring Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Levy. The M&O Levy is a funding measure previously supported by voters to bridge a budget gap required to maintain quality fire department services.

SKFR continues to offer higher quality fire and emergency services at a lower cost to taxpayers in surrounding communities. In order to maintain these services, please VOTE YES to continue SKFR's maintenance and operations levy in the election on November 8, 2016. This four year levy will allow the district to continue to bridge the gap between current funding and the actual cost of operating at an efficient level for our community and our firefighters.

This is not a new tax, rather a renewal of an existing levy at a lower rate. With improving property values, SKFR is able to reduce the necessary levy amount. At a proposed nineteen cents (.19) per thousand of assessed property valuation, this measure is a savings of ten (.10) cents per thousand over the current levy rate!

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