The current Snoqualmie City Council has been handed budgets by Mayor Fletcher in recent years that have been funded, in part, by the non-recurring impact fees from new construction in the city of Snoqualmie. For years, these dollars have funded city expenses that can’t be fully covered with normal ongoing tax revenues. When construction stops on Snoqualmie Ridge, even if commercial and retail sections are fully built out, the city will not be able to fund its current projected budget.
The City Council needs to assess this imbalance in its long-term source of funds vs. expenses. Yes, the city needs to actively pursue commercial development in all of Snoqualmie; yes, the city needs to pursue potential tax revenue from areas like the old Weyerhaeuser site; and yes, the city needs to evaluate reducing expenses, such as police, parks and other services. None of these are popular choices, but changes need to be addressed now to avoid serious fiscal damage in the near future.
The citizens of Snoqualmie need to understand this budget imbalance and understand the pressure the council is under to correct it. We must allow the council to work through the process rather than make personal attacks about its members. I encourage the citizens of Snoqualmie to truly understand the issues by doing their own research and stop engaging in the spread of rumors.
I believe the current City Council, while it was handed a badly imbalanced budget, is doing a good job in fairly assessing its revenue and expense options. Matt Larson’s leadership and dedication has been, and will continue to be, critical in solving this budget dilemma.
I trust that the City Council will continue to face the tough decisions with the wisdom, fairness and fiscal responsibility all of the citizens of Snoqualmie are counting on. And I trust the citizens of Snoqualmie will wisely research the issues and fairly support their elected officials.