Thurston County Elections certified the August 18th ballot as final on September 2nd.
The results showed Proposition No. 1, Creation of Regional Fire Protection Service Authority passed in the City of Yelm
by 56% and failed in Yelm Fire District by 54%.
This writer strongly supports our Fire & Rescue men & woman!
UPDATE: September 3, 2009
From The Olympian:
“Voters rejected by 13 votes a proposal to consolidate the city of Yelm and two neighboring fire districts into a regional fire authority, according to a final count of ballots from the August primary…
The proposal required a combined simple majority to pass.
Fire Chief Rita Hutcheson, chief of the two fire districts, which have operated jointly since last year, said the proposal could reappear on the February ballot. The deadline to get the proposal on the November ballot has passed.
Under the authority, property owners in all three districts would pay the same tax rate for fire and basic emergency medical response, $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. It would result in higher taxes for city residents but would not change the rate for those living in the rural fire districts.
In Yelm, the citys regular levy would have been reduced because it would no longer be used to pay for fire and medical emergency services. But the fire authority would have levied a new tax in 2011, resulting in a net increase in property taxes…
Yelms contract for fire and basic emergency medical response expires at the end of 2010.
Forming a fire authority allows neighboring fire districts to consolidate and put more money toward front-line response by eliminating duplicative administrative jobs.
Two key features make an authority different from a merger or a contract for service: A planning committee has the flexibility to determine how an authority operates and is governed, and voters must approve it.
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding has said the difficulty in getting information about the proposal to rural voters had a hand in its defeat.”
Ed. Note: Information was very clearly presented to the rural voters, the same as city voters. Rural Yelm-area voters have always been more vocal, educated and involved in Yelm-area affairs and they participate in Yelm issues. There are always more rural constituents in Yelm’s City Council meetings than than handful of City of Yelm residents each quarter.
In my humble opinion, they do not trust the City of Yelm officials to present them the facts. Too many times in the last 10+ years, the School’s levies and others have failed on the first ballot and other ocstly ballots have to go before the public later.
A new tax to be levied in 2011?
No one in Yelm much has the stomach for that, after getting socked between the nose with Yelm’s August Water Bill, a 2% increase in B + O taxes and a Draft Water System Plan that will provide more water bill increases to be paid in the future!