It’s a matter of priorities for funding

You’ve got to wonder.

Decisions made lately by Kent’s mayor and City Council make me wonder what are they thinking. Do they understand the concept of priorities? It’s a simple concept whereby you decide the “needs” vs. “wants.”

According to the Kent Reporter, last December mayor-elect Dana Ralph and five of the seven council members were in favor of increasing the property tax rate by 15.4 percent. Instead of spreading the increase of a period of years, the whole increase started this year. Preparing to meet the fiscal cliff due to a decrease of funding from the state was the rationale.

Just this year alone the business and occupancy tax on the square footage of businesses was doubled. In addition to the proceeds being used to repair our roads, the increased tax will be used to maintain city parks. Granted the city parks could use some repairs but do they take priority over other issues – the homeless, for example.

Now the city leaders want to build a replica of the lunar rover. Granted there will be some donations from outside organizations, but do the funds for this take priority over other issues such as the opioid epidemic?

Finally, the city spent $205,000 for a study to refurbish the City Council meeting area, which will cost an additional $100,000 for construction. Really? At $65,000 per patrol vehicle, the $300,000-plus could be used to purchase four additional police patrol vehicles, which the city leaders claim our police need.

This is your tax dollars at work folks. What other spending on “wants” are on the horizon with this new mayor and several new council members? You’ve got to wonder.

– Richard Brandau

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