I-1033 fight: City of Snoqualmie, school district urge 'no' vote
October 15, 2009 · 9:49 AM
Snoqualmie Valley School District and the Snoqualmie City Council went public last week with their fears for Initiative 1033.
The school board and council passed resolutions asking residents to vote down the Tim Eyman-sponsored initiative, which would limit expansion of certain government revenues to population growth and inflation.
The school board's resolution predicts a potential $2.4 billion education shortfall for K-12 funding.
"Initiative 1033 is projected to adversely affect K-12 funding and education programs in our community," Resolution 745 states.
Snoqualmie's resolution notes Washington's Office of Financial Management estimates that I-1033 will reduce state general fund revenues that support education, social, health, environmental services and general government activities by $5.9 billion by 2015.
Snoqualmie's resolution passed unanimously after council members persuaded a skeptical Bob Jeans of its merits.
"I'm not in favor of it, but I'd love to have someone convince me otherwise," Jeans said. Jeans said he wasn't persuaded by OFM's report — "They have a vested interest," he said — and said he remained unclear of its true impacts.
Jeans ended up voting for the resolution after several council members told him that I-1033 would be detrimental to the city's economic future.
A diverse revenue stream is critical to small cities like Snoqualmie, councilwoman Maria Henriksen. Council members predicted that the initiative would punish the city for growth, impacting human services funding and forcing a levy lid lift.
"The unknown is what scares me," Mayor Matt Larson said. "We can't afford uncertainty at this point."
Larson said the city has embraced efficiency very seriously.
"We've been doing everything [Eyman] is preaching," he said.
If I-1033 passes, Larson predicted that the city would have to consider cutting the permanent parks director position and cutting city recreation, "which is embarrassing for a city of our size."
In a recent interview with the Valley Record, I-1033 sponsor Tim Eyman welcomed resolutions, saying they bring his campaign more attention.
Eyman also argued that a recession is the perfect time to push for tighter fiscal policies.