Police Services bond falling short
October 2, 2008 · Updated 1:57 PM
CARNATION - A levy that would keep police services at current levels in Carnation appears to be failing, according to the most recent numbers released by the King County Records and Elections Division. But city officials are already planning to put it on the Nov. 6 ballot.
As county officials continue to count absentee ballots, the city's proposed bond measure, which would generate $108,000 a year for three years, had garnered 56.2 percent of the vote - 3.8 percent less than the 60 percent approval needed to pass a levy.
At press time, it had amassed 145 "yes" votes to 113 "no" votes for a total turnout of 258. The final vote will be certified Friday.
In order for the levy to be valid, it needs 310 total votes, or at least 40 percent of the voter turnout from the last general election.
Carnation Mayor Bob Patterson said he doubts the levy will meet the requirement of 310 votes, and the City Council is already looking ahead to the November general election.
"We committed to rerunning it if it didn't pass the first time," he said.
"We don't have much of a choice."
The levy is needed, the mayor said, because this year a three-year grant to help pay for a police officer ended, as did credits the city received from King County, which provides the contract police services. Currently Carnation has a part-time police chief and two full-time officers.
As those programs ended - Patterson estimated they equaled between $85,000 and $90,000 - city officials found they lacked the resources to pay for the police services.
"Our budget is very tight," Patterson said. "Without a levy, we can't afford the services we now have."
Should the levy fail in November, the city could be forced to reduce funding to other departments in order to pay for police services.
"We agreed to take the position that if we can't pass the levy, then we are going to have to go back to our budget and analyze where we need to make the cuts," Patterson said.