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Marysville, Washington
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March 1, 2000     The Arlington Times
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B2 o:o The Arlington Times/The Marysville Globe OPINION THE MARYSVILLE GLOBE .... . -- THE ARLINGTON TIMES To INFORM, EOUCATE, EDIFY ILLUMINATE & ENLIGHTEN OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE GLOBE OR TIMES EDITOR AND PUBLISHER KRISTOPHER R. PASSEY MANAGIN6 EDITORS NEVONNE MCDANIELS SARAH ABBEY MARGt HARTNETT COPY EorrOR CATHERINE PASSEY REPORTERS SCOTr MORRIS KAY BROOKS EorromAL ASSISTANT PAUL ERSKINE SALES SUE STEVENSON GEORGINE SHULER RICHARD MILLER CONNIE MCKINSEY DIANE LUNDBERG CLASSlRED MANAGER BARBARA BLAIR CLASSIFIED SATES SHERRY WEST PEGGY DONOHUE Tighter Focus Kris Passey Editor and Publisher "One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born." SAINT-EX I~RY The Wisdom of the Sands (1948) Please get out your calendar. The second summit for community activists in that part of Snohomish County loosely known as north county will happen all day Thursday, March 30, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 'North county' has come to describe the communities and surrounding unincorporat- ed areas from Lake Stevens to the south, Darrington to the east, Stanwood to the north, and the Tulalip Reservation to the west. Also included in the interior of that geography are Marysville, Granite Falls, Arlington and its recently annexed communi- ty of Smokey Point, and the unincorporated areas and smaller communities, including Lakewood, that make up the rest of this part of Snohomish CounW. Just so we are clear, 'north county' has here been defined not because of any seces- sionist ideas, but rather because it describes communities that have a shared level of development and economic interaction. They are for the most part smaller, more rural communities wrestling with similar growth and identity issues. Everett is on the outside of the western and southward bound- ary. It has more urbanized devel- opment. The com- munities of Snohomish, Monroe, Sultan and Gold Bar are connected to each other, and at the same time sepa- rated from north county, by Highway 2 and the unique set of interests and opportunities that flow along that east- west transportation corridor. The residents of north county do, of course, recognize and intend to expand their connections to and responsibilities in the county as a whole. The north county identifi- er simply makes the task of addressing shared challenges more manageable. The desire to do just that was clear from the first north county summit. Those first participants wanted to continue working together to share information, talent and resources to produce desirable, sustainable communities that were prosperous in humari and economic terms. In short, communities that are good to live in. The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce initiated the first summit with major funding coming from the Tulalip Tribes. Some months ago, a steering committee of almost forty north county residents began work on the second summit. The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber has again spear- headed that effort. Ca] Taylor, who sits on FROM THE DESK OF Gov. GARY LOCKE the Tulalip Tribes board of directors, is co- infrastructure proposal. It chair with chamber CEO Caldie Rogers, North ond summit steering County Bank president Don Laufenberg and avoid that misconception this writer. When the Major funding is again coming from the finalizing the framework for Tulalip community. The Tulalip Casino has decided on a California offered to be the major fund provider, in a Economics, as political climate of 1-695 cost cuts, that California jokes, the underscores the Tribes' commitment to com- that Douglas Henton, munity building and their outreach to contin- exactly the experience uously improve relationships with neighbor- Henton was senior hag communities, tire called (A Reg The Snohomish County Public Utility Growing Together in District has agreed to underwrite attendance an advisor on issues costs for 20 north county area high school The James Irvine students. Other businesses and groups are Endowmems, and providing in-kind donations. My point is not rative efforts in several to comprehensively list them, but rather to Massachusetts and AustraliiL indicate the high level of support and enthu- The siasm for this event, hands-on experience in howt~ As the steering committee wrestled with collaborative process the format and substance for the second areas of summit, several things became clear. The first attend will see and most obvious was that our communities the country witt do not lack challenges. Many on the steering make their communities committee brought issues to the table about and work, to raL, which they had strong feelings, and to work together As the planning meetings continued, the those goals. steering committee eventually developed a If it hasn't consensus that the best direction for the endorsement of the summit would be to share the best practices and a request for of other communities in solving their issues, mit does have a $75 fee rather than starting with a specific agenda of A strong effort was issues. The steering committee felt that atten- inclusive marling dees of the summit should identify specific on it. Don't feel slighted. issues. They wanted to avoid entirely the mis- you are invited. Contact conception that there was any pre-arranged MarysviUe agenda of issues. 360-659-7700. At the first summit, some participants reported feeling that a late afternoon presen- their wehsite: tation gave the impression that summit was For our designed to gain approval for the ASCENT 21 should be an essential date. 1,360A35,5757 1.360.435.0999F Legislative Session: Education main telephone numbers Iloum: MOR,-Fri,. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. LwrEM or Globe) you prefer to 52 weeks - $32 26 weeks - $t8 Outside Snohonalsh County 52 weeks - $68 26 weeks - $38 6 weeks - $18 krns, WeemNSS, 8213A State WA 98270 SPORTS " I have sent to the Legislature this session a pack- age of education proposals designed to improve the academic achievement of all Washington students. These proposals would provide more opportunities for individualized instruction of our students and ensure that high-quality teachers are in our classrooms. That keystone of my program is the Learning Improvement Property Tax Credit, House Bill 2665 and Senate Bill 6470. The heart of the proposal would let public schools keep property tax revenues at home in their districts that otherwise would be sent to Olympia. Each district could keep up to $140 per pupil annually in 2001-2003, increasing to $450 per pupil in 2004 and beyond. It means $1 bil- lion to our schools over five years, and requires no tax increase or increase in state government spending. Local school boards could use the money to: contained in There's no question Washington's parents and taxpayers want better teachers and more individual attention for chil- dren. Reduce class sizes in kindergarten through six. Implement extended learning opportunities, such as before and after school, on weekends and during the summer to give extra help to students who need it. Develop pre-school programs to prepare chil- dren for kindergarten. Improve or build schools to accomplish those goals. All of these uses have a common theme: more individualized instruction for students. And the choice of how best to spend the money in each com- munity would be made by the local school board, not by Olympia. My supplemental budget addresses other goals as well. I want to offer scholarships to recruit more bright, capable people into teaching. I want to test new teachers to make sure they have the knowl- edge and skills they'll need in the classroom. A new professional standards board would set a high bar for teacher licensing. I want to reward with a salary bonus those teachers who achieve national board certification. I'm also asking for $5.2 million for school security so students can learn without fear. While Washington's schools are beginning to show improve- ment in student p~rforrfilince on our tough new Slate tesig in the" 4th, 7th arid lOth grades, too many pupils still are not learning enough to become informed, responsible and fully-employable adults. By reducing class sizes and providing extended learning opportunities, we can improve student performance as well as Gov. Gary Locke improve discipline and reduce Governor of Washington behavior problems. There's no question Washington's parents and tax- payers want better teachers and more individual attention for children. The K-12 2000 Initiative, a proposal similar to my property tax credit legisla- tion, was developed independently by parents, local educators and school board members from across the state. I applaud their effort and will support the initiative if necessary. But this Legislature can provide both property tax cuts, which we need, and a tax credit for schools, which we also need, this session. We do not have to change the state spending limit. We do not need to raise taxes. And we can do this with a simple majority vote of this Legislature. I look forward to continuing to work with legislators from across the state as we strive to help all students achieve higher levels of academic success. Gary Locke is governor of Washington. t40 . .Oy , / / Globe- 360.659.1300 DEAmINn tor Wed, for Wed. : Surro & SANrrATmN DAN C W ELL In owne DY ]SUn NEWS, IOC., a Washington Corporation Property taxes, I didn't realize there was such a big problem I I I I Illl ..... Capital Gain s: Adele in Olympia espite many years of writing about property taxes, I learned something new the ~ other day that prac- tically took the curl Political out of my hair. Columnist Sear In mind if Initiative 695 stands, and it's under challenge in court now, this is all moot. But if the courts throw 1-695 out, a real possibility, we're back where we were, m a situation I didn't realize existed. It came to my attention when proper- ty tax bills were mailed out on Valentine's Day and Kitsap Assessor Jim Avery said Bainbridge Island residents faced the biggest increase, 27 percent over 1999 taxes, because the city had built up its reserve capacity by not collecting the max- imum 6 percent allowed each year over the in 1991, officials pledged not to exceed a they acted before Jan. levy of $1.3280 per $1,000 assessed valua- capacity, Bainbridge tion for five years. In 1993, they could its (inflation and the 1 have collected $3.9 million at 6 percent the highest over the previous year's budget, but theyyears, which was $4.2 only collected $2.3 million or what In December, $1.3280 per $1,000 brought in. The fore- levy rate at $1.73 previous year's budget, exclusive of new gone $1.6 million was "credited" to theirand a 2001 rate of construction, bank account, ate $4.8 million, Reserve capacity? What reserve Over the next four years, they under-director Ralph Eells. capacity? I thought each year's budget was collected by $1.8 million, $1.7 million, $1.7 the increase m the a done deal. Cities, counties, ports, fire million and $1.4 million. In 1997, voterssaid, "but, districts, etc., determined the need up to 6 welcomed Referendum 47, limiting growth said if you don't do it percent more, and that was it. If they set- tled on less than 6 percent, which few did, in property tax collections to the rate of right to do it. inflation (1.9 percent in 1998) to all taxing lost by repeal of the what they didn't use was foregone oppor- districts over 10,000 population. Taxing Tax." The message tunity, district officials could exceed that limit up figure that just Little did I know that anything they to 6 percent, by passing an ordinance or ty or fire district didn't use was "banked" for them. They got credit for the difference between what resolution stating a "substantial need" cent each year in the they could collect and what they did col- with a super majority vote. Accumulation lected money is lect and could draw on that in the future, of taxing authority, i.e., the "banks," also down as was limited to the rate of inflation. In lections could come That was enacted in 1986 in hopes of get- 1998, Balnbridge Island levied $1.48, still the fanny the way ting taxing district officials to stop taking the full 6 percent increase each year under not taking a full 6 percent hike, because Island, where they'll they didn't need it, and in 1999, $1.40, more this year than t a "use it or lose it" scenario. It did set up ditto. Along comes 1-695 in 1999, putting too could be facing the possibility, of course, of big jumps in future taxes and fees to public vote as of more than one source. taxes by districts that weren't taking the Jan. 1. Taxing districts that kept their levy would reappear, but full 6 percent. Here's how it works. When the city of rate under 6 percent had the advantage of bet lawmakers got Winslow annexed all of Bainbridge Island their reserve taxing authority capacity if clear. and became the city of Bainbridge Island Adele Ferouson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340