Public Hearings on DuPont’s proposed 2013 Budget will take place Nov.13

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Exactly one week after registered voters in DuPont overwhelmingly rejected a temporary property tax increase, residents have the opportunity to speak to the council about city’s proposed 2013 budget during public hearings at DuPont City Hall.

On Tuesday, November 13, the DuPont City Council will take oral or written testimony on the 2013 Proposed Budget, which is being revised to reflect Mayor Michael Grayum’s “Plan B” budget as a result of the Proposition 1 levy failure. The Council will also take oral or written testimony on the 2013 revenue sources including regular and EMS tax levies.

Mayor Grayum’s proposed “Plan B” budget intends to fulfill the city’s financial obligations to pay the debt on DuPont’s Civic Center by reducing irrigation to parks, greenways and facilities, closing the Museum, eliminating TruGreen maintenance contracts for PowderWorks Park and Wilmington Drive. Budget B also eliminates the West Pierce Fire and Rescue contract (which provides fire support and administration services and personnel), eliminates four fire fighter positions, one police officer position, and increases taxes and fees.

While the city council has held multiple budget workshops throughout October to review information on revenue projections, personnel, and department budgets, they have not had an in-depth discussion about Budget B. When Mayor Grayum first introduced Budget B on October 9, council members quickly reminded everyone at the meeting that they have the final say on the budget, and what the mayor proposed was not the final outcome. South Puget Sound News’s report from the October 9, 2012 city council meeting is linked here.

On election day, voters rejected DuPont’s Proposition 1 which sought to temporarily raise property taxes to cover the city’s debt payment on the Civic Center and pay for three firefighter positions currently funded by a SAFER Grant. The grant expires in 2013.

The November 13 DuPont City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. at DuPont City Hall, located at 1700 Civic Drive in DuPont. The meeting is open to the public. The agenda is linked here.

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1 Comment

  1. DupontDenizen November 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm - 

    The silent supermajority. A great many people were following the debate over the property tax. These are people that have never been to a council meeting. These are people that have busy lives and don’t have much time to engage in civic debate. Nevertheless, these people were paying attention and following the broad contours of the debate.

    This silent supermajority was appalled at the tone by Mike Courts and other council members. They were outraged that numerous sensible recommendations were totally rejected. Especially when other citizens contributed substantial time to make many of these recommendations. These people were also angered by the dismissive attitude of council members.

    If you – council members – don’t have the creativity or vision to evaluate and adopt sensible reforms, nor the ability to treat citizens with respect, then maybe you shouldn’t be on council. We need people that bring ideas to the table. Throwing a property tax at the voters over, and over, and over, and over again, hoping one will stick like velcro, doesn’t count.

    Recommendations:
    1. Eliminate the several public safety positions we can no longer afford – the voters made this quite clear. Concentrate on shoring up our ALS ambulance services;
    2. Freeze step increases and other salary increase adjustments for remaining employees;
    3. Implement a square footage tax immediately to make sure all businesses are paying business tax;
    4. Implement a small, temporary increase on the B&O tax rate;
    5. Beef up tax compliance efforts – especially with larger businesses;
    6. Consider putting the sales tax dedicated to funding police officers and fire fighters on the spring ballot – people pulling off of I-5 to buy food at McDonalds or golf at the Home Course can afford a tiny increase in the sales tax rate;
    7. Evaluate the possibility of contracting other major services, such as police services, with Pierce County to achieve economies of scale;
    8 Don’t ask for another property tax increase until most of the above items have been implemented or at least carefully scrutinized.

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South Puget Sound News is the local news source for DuPont and Steilacoom. We report on and share news regarding local schools and businesses, government and politics, non-profits and the people who make this a great place to live. South Puget Sound News is owned by C.E.M. Communications, L.L.C.