The City of Seattle is a clear example of an ineffective and incompetent government. Again and again, the liberal progressives running the city prove themselves capable of little more than growing the size of city government and wasting taxpayer dollar – all while blatantly misleading the voters. The city’s Seattle Fire levy—approved by voters in 2003—provides a perfect example.
City officials promised voters that, for $197 million, Seattle’s “aging fire stations would be modernized, among other emergency-related projects.” The levy was supposed to update 33 firehouses in nine years, making Seattle the “most prepared city in America.”
As could be expected, Seattle officials failed—quite miserably—to fulfill their promises. A whopping 32 of the 33 firehouse projects came in over budget, some by millions of dollars. MyNorthwest.com,
“Take Fire Station 18 in Ballard, for example. Originally budgeted for $1 million, it has cost $6,610,000; 552 percent over budget, according to the Times.
“The only station that was finished on budget was Fire Station 39 in Lake City. That was estimated at $5,758,000 and completed for $5,370,000.”
Now in its 12th year, the upgrade project is wildly over budget, coming in at a total of $306 million. That’s right, a $197 million project list turned into a $306 million project list.
City officials, absurdly enough, blame inflation. But, that’s not an excuse many are prepared to accept. MyNorthwest.com,
“What’s even more concerning is Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat’s theory on why the fire projects are over budget. He writes that in order to get voter approval, the City Council cut $70 million from the original proposal of $260 million.
“Westneat points out this is what happened with the seawall, too. The seawall was originally estimated to cost $390 million, but that cost dropped to $300 million. Now the cost is back up to about $400 million.”
City officials are now asking Seattle voters to approve a nine-year, $930 million transportation levy, claiming it will cover road improvement projects and bridge repair. Considering the city’s track record, voters would be wise to take the timeline, cost estimates, and promises with a rather large grain of salt.