Letters to the Editor

Who’s behind “Yes” on Prop. 1 in Black Diamond? | Letter

When the recent mailing from the “Vote Yes on Prop 1” arrived, I was shocked at some of the claims it made – and it made me wonder, “Who’s behind the Yes campaign and is this true?”

So I went down to City Hall to get some answers.

I thought you might be interested in what I learned:

The four salaries that were listed as “Excessive Employment Costs” are not paid by taxpayers. These salaries are funded by a Funding Agreement with YarrowBay. It’s Standard Operating Procedure for a developer to fund city government positions that make it possible to process permits, facilitate vendors, manage studies and do all the governmental steps required for healthy growth.

The city made a decision several years ago to pay their staff well in order to attract highly qualified people and retain them through Black Diamond’s growth process.

This is a win-win for the residents of Black Diamond. The staff are in place to respond to requests by residents, without the residents of Black Diamond having to pay for them.

I don’t believe the “Yes” campaign really cares about the amount of the salaries – I believe they want to replace the current, experienced “administration” with their own inexperienced puppets

.I asked the mayor if she ever obstructed the city council from putting items on the agenda. She stated that the opposite is true –she always accommodates their requests – she has to!

Even the  issue about changing the form of government  (“a backdoor recall on the mayor” is what Councilmember Goodwin called it) – was put that on the agenda. The “Yes” campaign wants you to believe the council’s powers are stifled by the mayor – this is not true – the council and mayor have a check and balance system. That’s why we need to keep both of them.The “Yes” campaign is full of misinformation led by non-residents who want to be in control of the future of Black Diamond.

All the people identified from the “Yes” campaign who knocked on doors in Black Diamond don’t live here – they live in Auburn, Maple Valley, Issaquah, Enumclaw and Bellevue. They don’t pay taxes or vote here.

That’s why they’re working so hard to get you to vote “Yes” – so they can have more influence in the direction of the future of the city.

We know some of Black Diamond’s City Councilmembers are for Prop. 1 – after all, 4 of 5 of them voted to put this issue on the ballot at the July 19 Council Meeting. The same four councilmembers have served less than a year on the council and are just now beginning to go through their first budget cycle.

They are just learning where the money comes from or how it’s spend. They have already made decisions to spend funds that come out of the general fund – your taxpayer dollars – that were not budged for last year. Such as spending $5,000 to put this measure on the ballot and spending $8,000 to stop the construction of a new fire station closer to the heart of the city that would be under construction by now.

What other decisions will they make that are not good for Black Diamond that you’ll have to pay for?

We can’t risk finding out. Vote no on Prop. 1 to avoid this future mistakes.

I urge you to not dabble in the experiment of changing our proven form of government at the whim of a small, vocal group of residents and out-of-towners who want to tell you how to run our city.

Our current form of government has been in place for 53 years in Black Diamond and is used in over 80 percent of cities in Washington State.

Vote no on Proposition 1.

Johna Thomson

Unincorporated King County

Editor’s note: Thomson lives near the city of Black Diamond

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