Wednesday, October 20, 2010

UPDATED: Please Vote NO on I-1100 and I-1105.

Drop off your ballot at City Hall !
UPDATED OPINION:  The City Council and Mayor worked their tails off last night - for over three hours.  A Budget Hearing took up a lot of their time.  (The final Budget Hearing is November 16).
Over six human services organizations lined up to request funds or thank Mayor Marchione for funds budgeted. Every presentation stirred emotions and elicited concerns. The one that touched me the most was Therapeutic Health Services (THS). They treat folks with severe drug, alcohol and mental illness. My younger brother, Rick, had all three, including prescription drug addiction, and died in his 40's.

Manager Joellen of THS rattled off some startling statistics:  A least 10% of the general population is afflicted with either mental illness or drug abuse (or both). Mothers Against Drunken Drivers say every 45 minutes someone is killed by a drunk; and for every one DWI conviction, the violator will have driven an average of 87 times without getting caught.

So how does the Council help fund these human services to treat the afflicted and get them safely back to a normal life?   One citizen*  recommended eliminating the 1% Cost of Living increase ($680,000) that's budgeted for 624 city staff -- to help fund requests (and keep down property taxes.)  This election offers another possible source of funding:  If voters defeat state liquor store privatization measures I-1100 and I-1105 the city will  save over $350,000 in tax revenue/year. 

I've lived in New York, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona where liquor sales were privatized and a bottle could be had at any street corner; please not here. The TV ads show giggling, liquor-toting youth, jumping into cars after tricking convenience stores into a sale. Yes, my brother would remember these times, if he were alive.

Please vote NO on I-1100 and I-1105.

Opinion By Bob Yoder*
CC:  Council
Letter to:  Redmond Reporter

2 comments:

Jactive said...

I agree with you, Bob. I'll be voting NO on I-1100 and I-1105. Both initiatives were sponsored by Costco and liquor distributors, whose interest is making more money - and let somebody else worry about any lives that may be lost as a consequence.

DrKoob said...

Those ridiculous ads with the giggling teenagers are ludicrous. Do you know how many teens have fatal traffic accidents each year with no alcohol involved. Does that mean only the State should sell cars? And can you imagine what would happen if we decided that only the state could sell other products, like guns? I can hear the outcry now. Prohibition was repealed decades ago. Our state-owned liquor stores are an outdated anachronism.

Enforcement and increased penalties are the answer not the state running things. If there were a no tolerance policy when it comes to liquor sales to minors there would be no sales to minors in no time. You or one of your employees sell to a minor, you never sell liquor of any kind (including beer or wine) again.

And what real difference does selling hard liquor make anyway? Many of the malt liquors currently for sale in markets and convenience stores have higher alcohol content and are cheaper than a bottle of vodka would be.

And don't get me started on our insane and ineffective drunk driving statues. If you stop letting drunk drivers back out on the streets you will stop drunk drivers. First time offenders need jail time and long-term loss of license. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Repeat offenders need to face real jail time. When that happens, drunk driving will end. My son-in-law has busted more than 2000 drunk drivers in the past six years as a Washington State trooper and he sees them walk with probation or just a fine on a regular basis. That insanity has to end. But keeping the state in the liquor business isn't the answer.