Letters to the Editor

Letters from Oct. 31, 2007

Election 2007: Why is EHJR 4204 wrong?

Not all voters own property and pay property taxes! EHJR 4204 is asking voters to amend the Washington State Constitution which currently requires a 60 percent super majority to increase property taxes, and reduce the requirement to a simple majority. This is not fair to property owners.

The State Constitution requires the 60 percent super majority because it is not right for one segment of the population to increase taxes on another segment of the population. Furthermore, property owners are the bread and butter of any community. These are the people that have taken root and have a real stake in the communities in which they live.

At one time it was thought that only property owners over the age of 21 should have the right to vote. Although I see the need for every adult to have a voice in government, I believe that 18 is too young to vote. People under the age of 21 have little life experience and often make bad choices because they are still learning the ways of the world. In fact, state law tells us that anyone under the age of 21 is not responsible enough to drink responsibly.

Do we really want educators convincing these young voters to raise our property taxes with a simple majority? Sure, the schools will get every tax increase they ask for, but accountability will suffer, and money will be wasted while property owners feel more and more disconnected from the communities that run over them.

DAN GOEBEL

Keyport

Sheline for CKFR commissioner

Dennis Sheline is no union puppet and has made that very clear. His first responsibility is to the citizens and using the scare tactic phrases of ”He wants to spend more money and he is owned by the union” is just not the truth. Mr. Sheline understands what it takes to provide a first-class service to the public because he has the right experience. I for one want a commissioner who can make solid financial decisions based upon what is happening in the fire service today and not what he did in a small volunteer fire department 10 years ago. As a taxpayer, Mr. Sheline has no desire to needlessly spend your money but he wants to make sure you get the fastest response time possible and the adequate number of firefighters at your emergency while being fiscally responsible. He believes in perusing other methods of funding before coming to you, the taxpayer. Again, Dennis Sheline comes with the right experience to provide this balance. Elect Dennis Sheline for a safer Central Kitsap.

DAN KING

Silverdale Don’t believe the hype

Wow, the fire commissioner race is getting exciting, if you believe the hype from Ms. Benze (CK Reporter letters, Oct. 31). I’m one of those “union firefighters.” Here are the facts; (without the Hollywood mob run labor union squaring off against the good-old-boy politician rant). It’s the citizens’ fire department staffed with dedicated and professional public servants, from the chairman of the board on down to the newest firefighter. The union and the management work together as a team, (I just spent three days with the top administrators at a workshop planning the future direction of CKFR). There are some differences as to the priority of implementing improvements (increased staffing, upgrading apparatus, building new fire stations…) between Erickson and Sheline. Dennis Sheline knows from his 20-plus years of being a fire service professional that the single most significant thing that can be done to improve the citizen’s safety, firefighter safety, and decrease response times is to bring staffing levels up to the national standard. Ken Erickson’s ability to objectively evaluate the issues and make the right decisions is hampered by his ignorance of the facts and his old-fashioned “us versus them” mentality.

STEVEN W. DAVISON

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue shift steward

IAFF L-2819: It’s not about taxes

The Halloween scare campaign from Ken Erickson sells CK’s citizens, fire department administrators and firefighters short. This election is not about raising taxes. This election is about the philosophy of one of fire commissioners with regards to how to spend the tax money that is currently being received by Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue. The fact that Ken’s strategy is one of “us versus them” while trying to scare the citizens into voting for him, speaks volumes on who deserves the support of the voters. Ken is upset because his actions last term did not garner the firefighters’ endorsement, and when he didn’t get it, he decided to attack. Dennis Sheline is better informed and has more specific strategies for the use of current tax revenue in the most effective manner for the citizens. That is why Dennis Sheline has the endorsement of your professional firefighters. Please help us elect the best candidate for our communities.

RICK O’ROURKE

Poulsbo

Sheline

committed to citizens’ safety

The time has come to elect a fire commissioner in Central Kitsap who has firsthand professional firefighting experience. As a firefighter with 20 years of front line experience, Dennis Sheline knows the challenges that firefighters face everyday. I have been a professional firefighter for the past 12 at Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue. Over the past two years, we have had only one commissioner who has worked as a career firefighter, making the life and death decisions we have to make on a regular basis. Dennis Sheline will be a welcomed addition to the Board of Commissioners. Dennis Sheline shares the concerns of the firefighters who protect the citizens of Central Kitsap. Dennis Sheline knows that two people responding on a fire engine is unsafe for the firefighters and ineffective in conducting suppression operations. Mr. Sheline is committed to not only hiring firefighters, as outlined in CKFR’s strategic plan, he is also committed to increasing daily minimum firefighter staffing to maximize the benefit to the citizens of Central Kitsap. We hope that our fellow citizens in Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue will support the Professional Firefighters of Kitsap County by electing Dennis Sheline as fire commissioner.

JOE SCHWEIGER

Bremerton

Erickson’s hand is in

your wallet

I guess the letter to the editor from Joan Benze that came out in the Halloween edition of the CK Reporter was meant to scare people. That’s great if people are only interested in keeping with the festive spirit of Halloween, not so great if people are interested in the spirit of truth for this important local election. Ken Erickson is running on a platform of improving the fire department by buying lots of expensive new fire engines and building a new fire station (with his hand in your wallet). The fact that there won’t be any firefighters to staff those engines or respond from the new station isn’t mentioned. Dennis Sheline understands that firefighters, and not unstaffed fire engines and vacant fire stations, put out fires and provide emergency services. Ken Erickson evidently doesn’t.

MARK JOHNSON

Silverdale

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