Sunday, March 20, 2022

Police Chief Lowe Presents Levy Costs

Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe

Police Chief Darrell Lowe submitted his 2022 Public Safety "ask" to Council at a 3/15 Committee meeting, as follows:  

  • Mental Health Professional, *1 Full Time Employee (FTE,) $157,636 (includes services.)
  • Police Personnel, 13 FTE, $2,143,603
  • Police Support, 3FTE $369,047
  • Body-Worn & In-Car Cameras, $934,910 for labor. The equipment and maintenance agreement is already purchased.
[The Chief's final, approved "ask" added 5 mental health professionals and funded the Camera program labor from the General Fund, not the taxpayers.]

TOTAL ANNUAL POLICE LEVY "ASK" IS $3,600,000/ YEAR (35% of the proposed total levy.) The Fire component is ~ 33% of the levy.  Continuation of the 2007 Levy is ~ 30% of the levy.)

After questioning by Councilmember David Carson, Chief Lowe told Council the Body Worn Camera $934,910 expense is primarily for additional staff, all with ongoing yearly salaries. 
  • Paralegal
  • Deputy prosecutor
  • Police Sergeant
  • Records person
  • IT / TIS person
The remnant is for licensing and storage.

Captain Brian Coats reported  the U.S. Department of Justice gave the City a $170,000 matching grant for body worn cameras. It's use is equipment, software and storage.

If passed, the total annual "Public Safety Levy" is: $10,392,872/year or ~ $28.33/month or ~ $340/year on a $1 million house.  Property taxes will be $0.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

-- Bob Yoder, 3/15/2022
    Source:  RCTV / Facebook Live / CCOW-Safety, 3/15/2022

1 comment:

  1. Rosemarie Ives says -- Dear Mayor and City council members,

    For a City that espouses "Budgeting by Priorities," I believe that if Public Safety is a priority, it should be paid for from the General Fund rather than going out for another tax increase.

    After being responsible for four annual budgets and six biennial budgets I have a good grasp of city finances. I have examined the increase in the overall budget over the past 15 years, and the increases in both the police and fire departments budgets/FTEs over the same period. I don't see the data being presented that substantiates a 100% increase of the already $180 per year I have paid every year since 2008 and will continue to pay.

    With the amount of growth that the City has willingly facilitated over the same 15 years, good and responsible budgeting should have figured out what is most important and how to fund it .

    I feel physically safe . However, what scares me are the rising expenditures and the City's unwillingness to "live within its means!" With inflation up at 8?% and our assessments rising which inevitably results in paying more taxes (our property bill has gone from $4000 to close to $9000 over the past 15 years), this is the wrong time for a "special purpose" levy even if it's public safety.

    Though I applaud the initiation of mental health counselors in both departments, I believe this program should come from the general fund. Also, these staff/services would be an ideal collaboration with Kirkland and perhaps other Eastside cities insuring 24/7 coverage.

    I hope that the council will decide that the time is not right for asking/suggesting people vote to raise their taxes. I hope I don't hear the words from any council members saying "let's give the public the right to decide." That is no way to govern! Each of you ran for elective office to be a decision maker.

    Should you make the unwise decision to proceed during these challenging times, please accept this email as an application for the "opponents" arguments in the Voters' Pamphlet.

    Rosemarie Ives