Your Spokane Firefighters urge you to please vote No on Proposition Two.
Why? Well, as corny as it may sound, firefighters don't quit caring about the people they serve once their shift ends.
If you remember, a few months ago, the Spokane city council voted 4 to 3 against raising property taxes by one percent. What this meant is that due to rising fuel costs, rising natural gas rates, rising equipment and maintenance costs, rising electrical rates, rising water rates and rising medical insurance rates, the city will not be able to keep pace economically. The simple majority 4 to 3 vote to not take a one percent raise in property taxes was a vote to shut down the South Hill's Engine 9. Already, residents of the South Hill have seen the bad consequences of this poor decision.
Proposition 2 would require a super majority of 5 to 2 (71%) to raise taxes this one percent. This means that, no matter who you vote in on the next city council election, it will be almost insurmountable to gain a super majority and raise taxes this one percent. That's right - a minority faction within the city council could very much block the will of the majority of citizens and their elected officials' wishes.
If there were to be any tax increase, a special election would have to be held costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. It would be very difficult to get this request on the ballot.
Proposition 2 will make Spokane a less desirable place to have a business or to raise a family. You witness the rising crime rates, the deadly fires every day in the news. It will only get worse because some in our city council would rather pledge allegiance to power brokers like The Washington Policy Center, ALEC, Tim Eyman and the Koch Brothers than to retain and use the tools of good governance we have entrusted them with.
How radical is Proposition 2? A 71% super majority requirement has never been put in place anywhere ever before. We don't believe any municipality has ever had any super majority requirement implemented to raise existing taxes. Proposition 2 is so radical that even the Spokesman-Review has spoken out against it.
Proposition 2 will have no effect on Spokane firefighter wages. It will, however, contribute to a dwindling tax base, as people who can flee Spokane will flee Spokane as its quality of life continues to slide. Businesses will relocate. Our citizen will move. More fires. More crime.
We care about Spokane and its people. That's why we also join you in voting Yes for Prop 3 - the Library Lid Lift. If you support your libraries, think of the disastrous effects Prop 2 will have for them.
Spokane shouldn't be a proving ground for the Washington Policy Center and Tim Eyman's ideologically-driven bad experiments and the problems they will create for all of us.