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MAYOR TOUTS SPENDING $400,000 ON PARK TOILETS – ISN’T RETHINKING REQUIRED IN THESE TIMES?

EDITORIAL NOTE:

I am still baffled by the audacity of Mayor Harding to tout spending $400,000 on toilets and a concession stand for Longmire Park. In his NVN column this week, the Mayor says,
“Regardless of the challenges presented to us by the economy and state and federal cut-backs, we are working step by step to continue to improve the quality of life in our community and surrounding areas.”
Mind you, I have no issue improving the quality of life here, however is spending $400,000 on a few flush toilets and a concession stand to be used only about 3 months a year really something we can afford right now, what with a State budget deficit and cutbacks in social services?
Are flush toilets instead of porta-potties REALLY going to improve the quality of life here that much – and with such high cost?

Hasn’t the time come for our city’s officials to pause and re-think how they do business?
Just because the city received state funding for these toilets, doesn’t mean the city can’t say, “NO!” and ask for the money to be appropriated elsewhere. I mean, after all, the State revenue forecast shows a $238 million drop and getting worse, as reported here. The City of Yelm laid-off 6 employees and did not fill a vacant police officer opening last month and I told the City Council last year they did not do enough to reduce spending in their budget. How are a few flush-toilets and a concession stand going to replace the loss of 7 jobs here?

Now, the figures show the state’s economy is only getting worst, and affecting Yelm’s revenue, too
“Year-over-year statewide taxable retail sales fell by a record amount in the second quarter of 2009, and Thurston County’s dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to state Department of Revenue data released Friday [Oct. 9].

Statewide taxable retail sales fell 14 percent from the April to June period of 2008 to the same period this year, while the countys taxable retail sales dipped more than 9 percent in the same period, the data show.
Washington State taxable sales decline 14% during second quarter.

Yelm: Fell 12.27 percent to $35.71 million from $40.7 million,” quoting The Olympian.

“Wash. retail sales decline is largest ever…
Pierce County was even worse than the state average with a drop in taxable retail sales of 14.1 percent,” quoting KOMO-TV 4 News.
Yelm officials have stated that much of the city’s sales are form Pierce County residents who come here to shop, so that affects Yelm’s taxable retail sales, as well.

City Council candidate Jen Littlefield said in the NVN today,
” A recreation center that serves the whole community would be a better use of taxpayer money and would most likely receive widespread support.”
Re-appropriating $400,000 flush toilets to a recreation center would have been a wise investment you could have supported, don’t you think, Mrs. Littlefield?

HOW CAN THE MAYOR TELL US THAT $400,000 FOR FLUSHING PARK TOILETS IS A GOOD INVESTMENT IN THESE TIMES?
HASN’T THE TIME ARRIVED WHERE MAYOR HARDING AND THE CITY COUNCIL RETHINK SOME OF THEIR WAYS?
IS THIS WISE TO SPEND ALL OF THIS MONEY ON FLUSH TOILETS WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE ARE HURTING?

And, don’t you think a taxable sales drop in Yelm near the State’s record drop is news?
Afterall, the city touts the strength in the Yelm’s economy with a Super Wal-Mart.
Don’t you think this should have been front-page news in our local newspaper?
Where was the Nisqually Valley News on this huge story?
Asleep at the wheel?
Hello?
Seriously, the NVN dropped the ball on this one!

The NVN should have had this headline in today’s edition:
Yelm’s taxable retail sales drop 2nd highest in County, even exceeding County’s average drop by over 3% & near State’s record drop of 14%

Posted by Steve on October 16, 2009 at 3:21 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Just one comment Ms. Handley,

    The Water Study to which you refer was partially funded by a $350,000 grant from the State of Washington. The Water Bill increases are from infrastructure requirements to support moving the wells to the SW Area – i.e. Thurston Highlands.
    That distinction needed to be made.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve on October 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm

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