At the last Puyallup City Council meeting, some members asked “When is the right time to raise utility rates?” I say, not until the council reestablishes taxpayer trust in its ability to spend citizens’ taxes more wisely. Puyallup has about $48.4 milionl outstanding in non-voted debt and $5 million outstanding for voted debt.
Citizens have become skeptical how funds were spent on a variety of projects such as the City Hall, pavilion, stage, parking garage expansion, rental/lease space for the court, return of fire utility fees, legal fees, lawsuit settlements, etc.
Many citizens feel if the council wants something, it will find a “revenue stream.” But when citizens need improved police protection, traffic control, streets, sidewalks, etc. they’re told there isn’t enough money. Many feel funds have been spent on frills that the council wants and when there are no funds left, the basic services are being held hostage for increased rates or taxes.
Puyallup is “a day late and a dollar short” with no funds to pay for infrastructure needing repair years ago. We’re “between a rock and a hard spot” – the rock (economy) and a hard spot (no money) that was created by wasteful spending. Similar to the housing crash, we can’t keep borrowing to create a facade of a lifestyle we can’t support.
Council, please err on the side of the citizens you are to represent and not on the side of the city. There is a difference.
Steven Shores, Puyallup