By David Anderson
Now that John Simpson has been endorsed (again) by the Tacoma News Tribune for Lakewood City Council, and in light of their reasons why, seven “penetrating questions.”
First, is the Lakewood City Council continuing to pursue a special election on Feb.11, 2014, likely for the purpose of raising property taxes to pay for street improvements? And, if so, how is this fiscally responsible given the election would cost Lakewood taxpayers an estimated $99,515.50 according to figures supplied by the Election’s Cost department of the Pierce County Auditor’s office – five times more than had the City Council not missed the deadline for placing this measure on the upcoming November General election?
Second, is the Lakewood City Council continuing to pursue a survey – presumably to measure how willing taxpayers are to have their taxes increased to pay for streets? And, if so, how is this fiscally, or for that matter ethically or legally, responsible given the survey could run upwards of $20,000 and, in terms of ethics, the council was warned by Lakewood Acting City Attorney Matt Kaser that such a practice before an election could be viewed by the public as, at best, suspicious, at worst, illegal?
Third, how was the decision made to contract with GMA Market Research Company to conduct the survey, and at what cost, since the city website for councilmembers’ votes on such issues mentions this not at all?
For background for questions 1-3, click here.
Fourth, what is your plan – in keeping with your promise made at the Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association (TWNA) candidate forum September 5, 2013 – to ensure the Lakewood Police Department’s Use of Force Policy includes what is currently missing, both a statement “that communicates both to the community and to police officers that the preservation of human life is at all times a central tenet of the policy agency;” and, a declaration instructing officers “that the use of deadly force is an extreme measure to be employed only in the most limited and extraordinary of circumstances”?
Fifth, what is your plan – again in keeping with a promise made at the aforementioned TWNA forum as well as your commitment verbalized there to government transparency – to inquire as to whether in fact, under the previous city manager, road maintenance funds were moved from “designated” to “general” and thus may have been left unprotected from the city’s budgeting discussions and diverted instead to plug other holes in the regular city operations budget rather than used solely for street repairs?
For background for questions 4 & 5, click here.
Sixth, what is your plan, in keeping with your statement in this past Sept.7 on-line news publication, to examine “the city’s budget for more savings from top-to-bottom and from bottom-to-top”? And, in this effort, why is not an investigation – and the results shared with the public – as to where Lakewood ranks state-wide in the ratio of city employee salaries, including benefits, relative to household income a legitimate financial disclosure? Background,click here.
Finally, for now, you indicated at the TWNA meeting Sept. 5 that you would seek a moratorium on bikini barista stands with the goal of placing these establishments under the Sexually Oriented Business category. Your timetable?