Irresponsible Seattle City Councilmembers continue to make city government even bigger despite the city facing a $140 million deficit.
The Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) continues to send out “alarming” updates stating that Governor Jay Inslee, after receiving millions in campaign contributions from government employee unions, is amazingly not offering them enough taxpayer money in their secret negotiations. The union’s update asserts, “the state does not believe you ‘are a priority’ and continues to show up with lowball compensation offers.” Yet since the governor’s team is meeting with union representatives behind closed doors, there is absolutely no way to validate WSFE’s concerns about how much more taxpayers money the union members are being offered. Since all of Governor Inslee’s campaigns throughout his career have been well-funded by government unions, it is reasonable to believe he will treat his political contributors very well and that the WFSE’s statements are simply political posturing to receive even more of your money from the state.
It was interesting in the WFSE update that the union suddenly has joined those who believe that the state needs to do more to improve public safety. We have researched and we cannot find any statement from the union criticizing Democrat legislators’ actions (nearly all of whom are strongly supported by government employee unions in their campaigns) in 2021 when they rammed through their anti-police legislation which resulted in the erosion of public safety and exploding crime rates.
Since there is no transparency for Washington State taxpayers in the governor’s contract negotiations over how their money will be spent, there is no way to know if President Biden’s recent declaration that “the pandemic is over” will have any effect on the governor’s reported bribe offer of $1,000 to each union member who accepts the COVID vaccine booster. Chances are it won’t, since the offer seems to be more about giving his campaign contributors more taxpayer money than it is about increasing the number of immunizations. (Washington Federation of State Employees update, Washington Policy Center, YouTube/60 Minutes, and Clark County Today)
Washington State is still going to hand out taxpayer funds to undocumented workers originally intended to help them during Governor Inslee’s extended shut down of the state’s economy. The state plans to commence this COVID-related handout (two years late) even though President Biden has recently declared the pandemic over.
Federal COVID relief bills did not include funds for those who are in the country illegally. That bothered Washington State Democrat legislators. Thus during the 2021 Legislative session liberal lawmakers thought they would correct that “omission” since they had billions in surplus tax revenue, and the last thing they wanted to do was to use the money to provide tax relief to legal Washington State residents. So Democrat legislators appropriated $320 million to give to an “immigrant aid fund.” Yet the Inslee Administration never got around to handing out the money during his shutdown of businesses. The state is now accepting applications for that money, even though it is not known how many immigrants who were financially impacted by the pandemic have remained in the state for the two years since the funds were appropriated. (Axios)
It keeps getting more and more expensive to operate a business in the state thanks to Governor Inslee, as his Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced that it would propose increasing workers’ compensation rates by 4.8% for 2023. This will cost all consumers in Washington State. Businesses will see an average of $61 per employee tax increase next year which will result in higher production costs and subsequently higher costs for consumers. Public hearings will take place on October 26th and 27th on the proposed rate increase. (Washington State Department of Labor & Industries)
Seattle City Councilmembers released plans to increase the size and cost of the Seattle Parks District despite the fact the city is facing a $140 million deficit. Councilmember Andrew Lewis took time away repeating from saying the city needs more of city residents’ money to improve public safety (after he infamously flip-flopped to become a “defund the police” advocate to placate liberal rioters in 2020) to say that the city’s parks also need more of city residents’ money.
On Monday, the councilmember revealed his proposal to nearly double the parks department’s share of the city’s property tax from $0.20 per $1,000 assessed value to $0.39 in 2023, and then to approximately $0.60 in the following year. This tax increase will initially cost the average Seattle homeowner an additional $187 a year and will be approximately $300 per year more expensive in the following years. (For those concerned that Seattle is becoming too expensive for lower income residents, Councilman Lewis’ proposal will result in higher rents.) Included in Councilmember Lewis’ proposal is the hiring of 26 park rangers. Yet another of Councilmember Lewis proposals would prohibit these rangers from dealing with the top issue in Seattle’s parks, which is removing homeless encampments which prevent families from enjoying the public space. (Seattle Times)
As expected, Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has been appointed by Mayor Bruce Harrell as the permanent chief of the Seattle Police Department. This “news” comes more than two years after previous Chief Carmen Best, the first Black woman to hold the post, resigned due to the anti-police actions by a Seattle City Council and their desire to defund the police department. The nationwide search for a new police chief did not draw much interest due to most well-qualified law enforcement officers not being interested in a job working under elected city leaders who have demonstrated an unwillingness to support police officers and even participated in protests against the police department. (KUOW)
A man who has been detained by police 26 times this year, arrested 14 times, and had eight arrest warrants, was arrested again on Saturday morning after he threw a 25-pound railroad tie into the windshield of a moving Bellingham Police vehicle. Fortunately neither police officer inside the car were hurt and they were able to call for backup, who arrested the man. The suspect claimed he did not know the clearly marked vehicle was a police car. (Q13 Fox News)
The Inslee Administration has finally responded to a letter that was sent by City of Spokane officials over the mega homeless encampment (“Cape Hope”) that the state has allowed to grow on its property near I-90. The city’s letter informed the state that the public nuisance needs to be removed by mid-October, or the City of Spokane will take the Inslee Administration to court. The city also asked the state to reimburse the community’s taxpayers $350,000 for extra police and sanitation costs associated with the large and violent encampment.
The state replied that the timeline for placing the residents into city-run shelters is “arbitrary” and that it cannot be done by next month. A recent media report revealed that the controversial non-profit group Jewels Helping Hands, which the state is paying to “manage” the facility, has been discouraging encampment residents from moving out. They were informed that those who leave will not be eligible for free tiny homes which Jewels says will soon be available. (The group refused to answer media questions about when this tiny house village was going to be built or who was paying for it.)
The state also has refused to reimburse the city for its additional expenses after the state allowed the encampment to grow on its property. The state claims that since the city has received $24 million for homelessness projects, the state is off the hook. Basically the state is saying, “Since we gave you money, we can do whatever we want to within your city, even if it costs you more money dealing with the problems we have created.” (KXLY)
There have been five attacks by wolves on livestock in Stevens County in the past 30 days. Each has occurred on private property in areas where the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has ruled that that only non-lethal methods can be used to protect farm animals from wolf attacks. The culprits appear to be part of the Leadpoint wolfpack. (KHQ)
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