Citizen Harry: Levy committee fine-tuning survey for residents

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By Harry Gatjens

The Edmonds Citizens Levy Committee met on Wednesday, with the goal of developing both a presentation to the City Council on our progress so far and questions for polling citizens on their understandings and desires.

The meeting started with some discussion on what to do with the proceeds from the Snohomish County Fire District No. 1  sale. Two different options were presented beyond the decision the City Council had already made to pay off the bonds for the City Hall. The discussion got a little heated and you could tell there was passion on all sides.

While it was ultimately decided that this was beyond the purview of the Levy committee, it was good to see the discussion and to also see that the group wasn’t just a bunch of “yes men” and were willing to speak out on matters that were important to them.  This means that we should have some real thought and emotion put to whatever the committee finally comes up with.

There was some talk about whether we should be looking at just one overall levy or maybe break it up into targeted levies — one for road maintenance, one for parks etc. It was decided that this should probably be influenced by the survey results .

We then broke out into two groups, one focusing on the Council presentation and the other working on the survey questions. With about 15 minutes left, everyone came back together and the two groups summarized what they had come up with. Again, there was some heated discussion about the issues to be included in the survey. The survey subcommittee then said it would do some more research with department heads and would also give the entire Levy Committee membership the opportunity to express their opinions.

The goal is to start having surveys available with the next couple of weeks. You will find them here on My Edmonds News , on the Levy Committee’s website and in other various publications. If you get the chance, please let your opinions be known.

The meeting ended, as usual, with a public comment period. The next meeting is scheduled in two weeks.

Edmonds resident “Citizen Harry” Gatjens provides regular reports to My Edmonds Newson the workings of the Edmonds city government, including the 2010 Citizens Levy Committee and the Citizens Technology Advisory Committee. Gatjens, an accountant, also offers insight into the workings of the city budget.

1 COMMENT

  1. Harry,
    Always great to read your reports! I am still a bit muddled about the bonds. Did the Coucil vote to pay them off ( similar to paying off a mortgage) or did they vote to pay them down (as in less principle on which to pay interest similar to extending the term of a mortgage in a refinance) Sorry about the inartfulness of the question but I struggle to understand bonds on a good day. Thanks, Harry!

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