Carnation puts police levy on November ballot
October 2, 2008 · Updated 3:26 PM
CARNATION -The City of Carnation scrambled last week to
approve Resolution 236, which would re-run a $102,000 police levy on the
Councilmembers Don Raybuck, Bob Patterson and Stuart Lisk met
last Friday just minutes before the 4:45 p.m. deadline and unanimously
approved the resolution.
During the primary election last week, voters essentially rejected
the levy through a poor turnout at the polls. In order for the measure to
have passed, it needed a super majority (60 percent) and at least 40 percent of
eligible voters to validate it.
As of last Friday, 59 percent of the voters supported the levy,
however, only 22 percent of registered voters made their way to the polls.
The county is expected to release the final results tomorrow afternoon.
"From the optimistic side, I'm hopeful that the levy [might still
pass], because the county said there's still about 7,000 absentee ballots
throughout the county that are yet to be tallied," said City Administrator
Woody Edvalson early last week. "Those that have been around a little longer
are thinking that will probably not happen."
Edvalson and Mayor David Hunter both agree that low voter
turnout was what doomed the levy and they hope that more people will
show interest in the November election.
"No one saw big issues to vote on," Edvalson said. "So those that
would normally support the levy at the poll did not go.
"Only those who wanted to make a point to oppose it would make
the effort," he added.
According to the King County Elections, 127 people voted for
the police levy and 88 said "no." The total number of voters, however, fell
way short of the nearly 400 voters that were needed to validate the measure.
"It was a matter of people not getting out to the polls," Hunter
said. "There probably won't be any problem to get voters out in November."
He said measures like Initiative 695, which proposes to cut the
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax to $30, will certainly be a draw for local residents.
City officials will also be waiting to see if I-695 passes, because if
it does, the city would lose about $197,000 over a five-year
period. Since the city's funds are already tight, officials said if the police levy
doesn't pass, there will be some major changes in the police department.
"The council equated the levy amount to the services of one
dedicated police officer. That would reduce the amount of direct coverage the
city has," Edvalson said. "And we don't think that the community wants that."
Currently, Carnation contracts with the King County Sheriff's
Office for police services which include three deputies and a half-time chief.
Last year, Carnation residents approved a $95,000 police levy
which cost homeowners approximately $1.13 per $1,000 of assessed
valuation to maintain the level of police services. This new levy is expected to
cost 95 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $190 a year for a
"It's important for people to understand that this levy amount is
less than we had before and it replaces the current levy," Hunter said.