LETTER | Council should hear voices of Kirkland citizens over those from neighboring cities

Editor:

I’ve had it with our City Council listening to groups from outside of Kirkland and making decisions based more on outsiders’ influence than on the voices of Kirkland citizens, taxpayers and property owners. 

Their first slap in my face was when they enacted the mandatory Section 8 program for low income renters.  I went to the two public meetings sponsored by the City for input, and spoke at the Council meeting when the vote was taken.  At all three, only a few Kirkland citizens attended, from both camps.  But the affordable housing groups from the county and the region sent twice as many participants and speakers.  Despite reasonable requests to tweak the ordinance for small rental owners, nothing changed and the Councilmembers who voted yes did so without even acknowledging or recognizing what their attending, participating Kirkland constituents had to say.

Next was the plastic bag ban….I won’t belabor that one other than to point out the vote they took despite the results of their own survey….slap #2 as they seem to want to be like Seattle….

Now we have the regional aquatics community looking for a regional facility for their swimming programs.  Lots of non-residents got the ear of the City to get Prop 1 on the ballot.  I have nothing against aquatics.  My kids swam on the City’s summer team.  I support any program which gets kids active.  But the City’s listening to groups who represent lots of folks from outside Kirkland.  Those non-Kirkland folks won’t be paying property taxes of any kind to build or assume cost risks for the facility that they all so strenuously desire.  (I’d love for Wave Aquatics to provide the zip code data for every swimmer in their programs at JHS to see where they all come from).  The City’s own survey results said we’d support a bond measure; it never asked about an open-ended MPD, so why are we being asked to fund one?

Now the latest mailing from the Pro ARC group tugs at our hearts with the story of a young swimmer with a condition which is helped by swimming.  I’m a parent, and I truly feel for the parents and their child, but get this: this family doesn’t live in Kirkland but somehow “needs” to swim here!  I bet I’ll sound cold-hearted for this, but they can take their child to public or private pools which are closer to their home; they don’t have to come to Kirkland for swimming, and we’re not obligated to provide them a pool.

Why should I pay one cent to help build what everyone is saying will be a regional facility but only Kirkland will build?  If all these non-Kirkland residents in the aquatics community want a new facility, then they should get together and make it happen at a regional level.  If that’s not possible, then Kirkland residents and property owners don’t have any responsibility to lead on our own.  I’ll support a regional facility, paid for with a bond measure levied on a regional basis.

Our Council shouldn’t be aiding and abetting groups who want to impose an indefinite and undefined tax burden on our City’s residents and property owners for a lot of non-residents who will only have to pay a user fee.

In case it’s not obvious, I’m voting No/Against Prop 1, and I’m having a really hard time voting for incumbents on the Council this time even though I have voted for most of them in the past.

Thanks for sponsoring KV.

Brian Tucker