Letter: Instead of making excuses, Civic Center supporters should develop a plan voters can support

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Editor:

Every possible advantage was exploited. The NO campaign was outspent 10-1. The timing of the August election was chosen to guarantee the smallest possible turnout. The selection of the citizens to write the Voter’s Pamphlet NO statement was engineered to assure no one with actual negative views of the measure was allowed anywhere near the process. No opportunity to confuse voters with misinformation was missed all the while claiming that the small group of citizens on the “NO” committee were the real culprits.

Still they lost. Now they spend more time making excuses than putting together a plan that might pass. It is easy to make light of what politicians say and causes they champion, but seriously there must be other aspects of the just completed election here in MLT that are more newsworthy than competing personal theories of why the vote came down the way it did.

Its not nearly as entertaining, but explore how the YES campaign outspent the NO campaign 10-1. Folks might wonder what interest the two largest contributors to the YES campaign, both from out of town, might have in our little town. They gave 7 out of those 10 dollars, while our Mayor and a prominent planning commission member gave the bulk of the rest.  Their campaign was many things. It was not grassroots. Check out the Public Disclosure Commission’s website.

Margaret Loiseau
Mountlake Terrace

13 COMMENTS

  1. Not a bad letter.

    Ms. Loiseau, out of curiosity, could you provide some sort of guidance as to a dollar amount for the construction of a new City Center that would be low enough to either eliminate your objection, or cause you to object without activism?

    Forgive me if you are on record previously about this, but I think it’s reasonable to ask where your line in the sand might be drawn.

    • For years what we discussed was the need for a new “city hall”.  Then we tore down the old one.   Make that affordable and put it on the ballot. The rest can wait until the economy recovers.

  2. Interesting letter, but as a follower of the processes of the City Council, I never saw any evidence that the pool of “no” statement writers was engineered. Such conspiracy theories are good fodder for emotionalist editorial writers. Also, the data on those who provided funds is hardly relevant. The writer in no way linked these numbers and open-ended questioning of the motives of out-of-city donors to the main thought of the letter, which is presumably this line: “Now they spend more time making excuses than putting together a plan that might pass.” These numbers simply seem to be a distraction provided to draw our attention away from the real issue: whether or not there is a concrete reason to oppose the bond measure. I believe that the most recent plan put forward by the Council is no more than what Mountlake Terrace needs to provide a cost-effective seat of municipal government for the next several decades. It is indeed not the fault of the “no” campaign that the measure did not pass- it is the fault of those citizens of this city that lack the foresight to realize that renting the current city offices is a waste of their own tax money compared to the long-term investment that constructing a new city hall is. The new civic campus is not a bundle of pork designed to satisfy overeager local politicians; nay, it is an investment in the Mountlake Terrace that will belong to our children and grandchildren. The only pragmatic solution to this issue is not to draw voters’ eyes to the irrelevant matter of campaign funding, but to realize that the investment we are being asked to make is so small compared to the benefits of owning a city hall (rather than paying rent with taxes) that will provide all the needs that our town has.

    • Now aware we lack both foresight and pragmatism, I’m sure everyone reading along is persuaded (after we looked it up in the dictionary).   The “concrete reason” to oppose the bond measure is because it would raise our taxes.  We’re suffering from arithmetic, not emotions, which may not register if you already decided $50,000,000 (interest included) provides a “cost-effective seat of municipal government.” 

      • Higher taxes, Ms. Loiseau, are to be expected if what we need is to be provided. You are clearly rather intelligent, so I know that you realize this. But I am curious as to what you expect the city to do in order to build a new town center without raising taxes. Move their offices to tents set up on the vacant field where our city hall used to be? Speaking of which, vacant land is a waste of money, as is rent (in terms of government offices, anyway). Having something new that will handle all our needs for the next half-century is not a waste of money.

        • What we ”need’ is a city hall.  Everything else is a ”want” and we cannot afford it right now.  People are still struggling to make their house payments.  Get rid of all the extra’s and put a “affordable’ city hall on the ballot and when times get better we can add to the project.  It is not that hard to understand.

          • What is there extra? The current plan includes all *necessary* office and storage space (seeing as the plan was significantly trimmed down from the last proposal), a new police station, which is most certainly needed, and the required repairs to the library. All that seems pretty important.

          •  Adam, It is clear to me you do not fully understand the difference between what a “Need” and a “Want” is.  Follow closely….Need “city hall”.  Want ” Amphitheater, spray fountain, Ornamental garden..etc.”  All that would be nice, but not ”Necessary”. Today’s economy does not support all these “Extra’s”. 
            There is (and long has been) a need for a city hall and everything else is a “wish list” of projects that most people had never heard of and certainly not considered a necessity until they were put on the ballot in November, 2010.  If the old one being gone began a crisis it isn’t one whose solution requires all kinds of other things.   
             
            As a side note it would be nice to know who I am conversing with.  I am using and have always used my full name.  It would be nice if you would do the same.

          • It would be appreciated if all posters could start using their actual first and last names. We will be instituting a new policy soon requiring that, but for now everyone can get a head start by registering with their full names. Thank you. Teresa Wippel, MLTnews Publisher

          • So you would support (and vote for) a city hall without the senior center, police station, and public plaza? What about the library roof?

  3. Well said, Adam. Such a bizarre conspiracy theory written above.

    “It is indeed not the fault of the “no” campaign that the measure did not
    pass- it is the fault of those citizens of this city that lack the
    foresight to realize that renting the current city offices is a waste of
    their own tax money compared to the long-term investment that
    constructing a new city hall is. The new civic campus is not a bundle of
    pork designed to satisfy overeager local politicians; nay, it is an
    investment in the Mountlake Terrace that will belong to our children and
    grandchildren.”

    I was very disappointed that this measure did not pass, it was a significant investment into the long term health of our small city. I hope to see it on the ballot again in the future and am more than willing to have my taxes increased in order to contribute to this venture (and no, I am not a wealthy individual. Married, two kids, working).

  4. It would be appreciated if all posters could start using their actual first and last names. We will be instituting a new policy soon requiring that, but for now everyone can get a head start by registering with their full names. Thank you. Teresa Wippel, MLTnews Publisher

    •  This was a major problem before Teresa, but was corrected with tighter posting requirements.  Since the changes to MLTNews though, the commenting system interface and requirements have changed, so those that like to hide behind aliases are coming out again.  I, for one, will not engage in this forum because of this.

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