Disagreements should not result in personal attacks

It is a sad commentary on our community when individuals who disagree with an opposing view resort to attacking the opposer personally instead of sticking to facts.

First, let me acknowledge and correct my mistake in the Voters’ Pamphlet, where I stated property taxes would increase by 38%, when the actual increase is only related to the Vashon Park District’s portion.

Both Kate Spelman and Karl Stetson (“Vote ‘yes’ on Prop 1” and “Learn the facts about park district levy” April 11) fail to acknowledge that my previous op-ed supported the funding of all the deferred maintenance, projects and programs found in Prop. 1, only over a longer period of time (“Too much, too soon — vote ‘no’ on Prop. 1,” April 4).

Mr. Stetson is correct. Six months after voting to increase staff compensation by 18%, I did oppose an additional 38% increase (costing $276,000 from June 2018 to June 2020 — over 20% of the 2019 $1.3 million levy) because it failed to consider local prevailing wages.

Shouldn’t maintenance workers at the park district and those at the school district be paid similarly?

My message today is the same message I delivered when I was elected park commissioner twice — fiscal responsibility and transparency. Unfortunately, the current board delivers neither. Examples of misleading statements can be found on the Prop. 1 postcard. It states that voters last approved a tax rate of $0.50 and are now voting on a levy rate of $0.52, which appears to be only a 4% increase, when the actual cost increase is nearly 10 times that amount – 38%.

Some of the information on capital projects is also misleading, as reasonable readers could easily infer that the levy will pay for the regrade of the Agren Park field, when the district already has an approved grant that will pay for the work.

It is disappointing that on Vashon where we are concerned about “privilege,” Prop. 1 supporters, who can easily afford the extra $84 per year, while still having plenty for a family trip to Hawaii or Europe, would not show more compassion for the less fortunate, especially the renters, who will see the pass through of the additional tax to their rent.

— Scott Harvey

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