Thank you all for allowing me a long overdue break from the blog.

As Santa, I had a pretty full schedule for November and December, and suiting up for it took some preparation.

Oh, the stories I could tell. Even the hardened will get a glisten in their eye.

But I am getting distracted.

The break has not been without me keeping up on the fire district, but I have been extremely negligent in posting anything. And there have been several items worthy. Like the shake up on the board of directors with the election this week of the 2015 chair and vice chair. Some on the board showed their true leadership abilities as the decision was being made.

 

NEW TAXES!

          But something really big is about to hit your paycheck and they want you to be ready. At least, that is what they tell themselves.

Have you heard about the $54 million bond measure? Or have you heard about the public meetings the fire district is holding to educate you? And supposedly get your opinion?

That might be because they just thought about asking you a few days ago. Even their website only posted the notice on the 27th.

They have a goal of getting it on the April ballot. Since they have only heard from yes men, they are pretty confident.

For the meetings, at a minimum cost of $400 per meeting, they are holding three of them.

 

The proposal

          First, I need to say I was wrong. In an earlier post I said the district was coming after your wallet for a huge $45,000,000 tax increase.

I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong!

What they want is $53,700,000.

At a time when the state is considering adding a slew of taxes to pay for education, the governor wants to soak you for a new billion dollar energy tax, the county is asking you to add millions to pay for radios, are you prepared for the fire district to saddle you with an additional 20 year long $53.7 million bill for brand new fire trucks, a sparkling new administration building and renovations to all existing fire stations.

Today they held the first of three community meetings to get public opinion. But they failed to reach out and let you know about them. Other than a few flyers at the fire stations.

The commissioners were so excited they could collect and additional $300-$400 each in meeting pay, they refused to put even $100 in advertising in your local paper.

Or submit an item for the community calendar.

Despite all that, the first meeting was well attended.

By fire district employees, longtime supporters and invited guests. And me, of course.

So when they say they want feedback, they really don’t want YOUR opinions. Just the usual bobbing heads and admiration of their friends.

 

Survey says

          But to be fair, I must also mention the district did conduct a survey last fall to learn what you wanted. And they were pretty loose with your money then, too.

Committing $43,000 to poll up to 500 people. 

$86 dollars per phone call

          If every single person answered the phone and took the survey. However, I bet very few people stayed on the phone for 15 to 25 minutes answering the 40 very wordy and very leading questions this survey covered.

So the per respondent rate climbs quickly. Could have been $200 – $300 per call trying to swing as few as 150 voters.

Meanwhile, two of your commissioners, without taking the proposal to the entire board, made sure they could line the pockets of a few friends with $43,000 of your tax dollars, and get paid for their committee meetings while doing it.

How much would a full page ad in the Federal Way Mirror cost? Or including a one page insert with a questionnaire on the back to fill out and return? How many people would it reach?

I am still here.

And still watching out for your money.

 

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