The recent letter accusing Rosemary Siipola of pushing the police station down the throats of the Kalama City Council members was untrue and misleading. Without Rosemary's direction and keeping us on course, we would probably not have a police station. As members of the city council, we went back many times to revisit possible locations and cost factors. After the defeat of the property tax proposal, which had nothing to do with the location of the facility, the need did not go away. Rosemary asked city staff to find a more equitable, broadly-based funding solution, spreading the cost to all users of the Kalama water utility and police department. The resulting increase in the utility fees was much less out of pocket than the property tax, which was going to be paid for only by property owners within city limits.
Rosemary never pressured us, and she made sure we all had the proper facts and stuck to our agreed upon timeline. The council meetings were heated, for sure, misinformation and confusion about the location still lingered. But it didn’t change the fact that the community building location was inadequate and unsafe to the officers and public.
The entire council voted 5-0 for the funding plan. We made an investment in the future of the city, as well as our commitment to supporting our professional law enforcement officers. Working together on a common goal, making hard decisions and taking the heat for it, make being a locally elected official a challenge. However, if you care for your community and its future, it’s what comes with the territory.
Mike Langham and Mike Truesdell
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