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Opinion

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity may be more than residents can afford

unaffordable opportunity I wish to comment on a letter from Corkey Christensen (April 8) concerning the purchase of the 13-and-a-half acres by the City of Woodinville.
   The $7.75 to $8 assessed cost on a $150,000 home seems like a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," indeed, for such a wealth of property. It would be wonderful to have that property as a part of Woodinville.
   What Corkey and other supporters don't seem to understand is that the wee cost of "62 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation" is a lot of money when coupled with all the other "wee costs" already imposed upon the local homeowners by the city and King County.
   Many here on Hollywood Hill and the surrounding areas are already strapped with very high property taxes. These rising taxes dramatically go up when more bond issues are voted in. The interest rates on those bond issues will have most of us paying and paying for many decades to come.
   There are quite a few people who have lived in the area for 40, 50, and 60 or more years who have seen taxes go so high they can no longer remain in their own home, long ago paid for. They either have to leave, or have their children move in with them to carry the burden and help defer the costs.
   So, while 62 cents may seem like a small amount, it can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I hope Corkey and others understand and realize that most of us cannot afford much of what we might like to have.
   To keep taxes from rising, homeowners should consider a big change in their government. Do you realize that all of King County has only 1,613,600 people as of the census taken one year ago today? Why do we have 14 elected officials (this includes the County Executive) to govern under two million people?
   Los Angeles County has over 10 million people and has only five County Council members (called Supervisors). They are both legislative and executive and make all the decisions without farming out so much money to study groups, commissions, task forces, committees...
   Sure, do a quick study on something to learn all about it, but don't pay out large sums of money. All these committees and study groups have too much power to spend money on their own, without asking permission of the County Council. The council has given them that permission, and ... our money. We cannot vote out a committee or commission. We are at the mercy of the 14 men and women who appoint these people.
   Five county councilpersons should be able to do all the same work for under two million people that Los Angeles does for over 10 million. Then, there would be the money, and the ability for all to pay that 62 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the 13.5 acres of land in Woodinville.

Karen Ward, Woodinville