Does walking or biking the trails going through our neighborhoods require proof of local residency? Our taxes pay for them so the answer is no.
Enjoying an afternoon digging for razor clams along the Washington coast, other than a license permit and a shovel, is there some other elite group membership required? No, as citizens of our beautiful state our taxes ensure the clams are there to be caught for anyone.
Accessing statewide research databases with the helpful assistance of the local librarians; munching on popcorn when taking in the monthly family movie; relaxing to stress-reducing music while comfort coloring with other adults – are these and more services of the library all user friendly and absolutely open to the community? Sure, the library system is where a portion of our taxes go.
“The bulk of our tax dollars fund things we all care about and benefit from like the schools, parks, roads and health care services in our own neighborhoods,” writes Rep. Eileen Cody, (D), 34th Legislative District.
But try getting an answer from our tax supported Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC) if you’re just a common ordinary clam-digging, library-visiting, bike-riding citizen.
The question, still awaiting an answer, concerns the susceptibility to referendum of Lakewood’s controversial Rental Inspection Program (RIP), an ordinance (No. 644) passed 6-1 by the Lakewood City Council this past August 1.
Upon asking via email the referendum-applicability question of MRSC this past August 9, I received the following reply:
“Thank you for your inquiry. MRSC is a private, nonprofit research and information service for towns, cities, and counties in the state of Washington. We are only able to provide our services to local government officials and employees. From the information you provided, I cannot tell if you are eligible for MRSC services. Can you please clarify if you are local government official or employee?”
A school board member – thinking he might qualify – was similarly rebuffed.
Ironically, that same school board member just received a five-question survey from MRSC asking his opinion on how they’re doing since MRSC will be appealing to the state legislature for nearly $3 million in tax dollars, again, to fund their annual budget.
Rather ironic that he and I and you can’t get an answer to our question but MRSC has five questions of all of us now that I’ve included their survey link should you care to give them your opinion.
“MRSC is seeking feedback on our services to present to state legislators during the 2017 legislative session. Please take a few minutes to answer 5 short questions.
“Please note: by taking this survey, you agree to let MRSC use your responses for outreach purposes. Your responses will help ensure that MRSC can continue to provide expert guidance and consultation to local governments in Washington for years to come!”
Five-question survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/
MRSC nearly flat-lined in 2016 when the Senate recommended the $2.6 million in funding for MRSC from the Liquor Revolving Fund would go to the state general fund instead.”
Fortunately MRSC survived to continue answering questions.
Unless they’re yours.