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Ryan Mello and David Boe Break Fredo's heart

by fredo
on 7/24/2011 @ 9:38am
We're in the midst of a prolonged recession and Tacomans are experiencing record unemployment levels, record foreclosure rates, record business failure rates and a general malaise about the dysfunctional and wasteful decisions occurring at city hall. One would expect our council members to look under every rock for ways to save money and provide services.

But Ryan Mello and David Boe (neither has even been elected to the council) have decided that Tacomans should pay even higher taxes. This will make life even harder for struggling Tacomans and will be especially harmful to those of low income. The city needs frugality and sacrifice by those on the receiving end of a city paycheck.

Gentlemen you've broken Fredo's heart.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 10:48am
I respect your perspective, Fredo, here's my quick take, for what that's worth...

I have found both Boe and Mello to be the easiest to communicate with. And while I'm sure you and I won't agree completely with tax structures and the like, I know we both appreciate accountability in our Government. And, while not elected, when it comes to face time/responses to letters, these two are the tops, from my experience anyway.

Having the accessibility to a council member, AND have them personally respond to letters and e-mails in a timely manner is a big plus. Something Boe and Mello have done a better job than any other council-member.

Just my two cents...I'm a guy who saw my taxes decrease in the last cycle due to property value losses, so I guess increased taxes are not hurting me as much as decreases in the city's coffers which could be doing things like fighting Clear Channel in court, maybe?

Boe and Mello also seem to be firmly in the Anti-Digital-Billboard camp, so I personally wouldn't trade them in quite yet.

by cisserosmiley on 7/24/2011 @ 10:53am
it may be better to adjust the city budget and not take more from citizens?

it is not really mr mello's fault that he is doing well enough to not understand gross currency availability in our community.

mr mello attended a university just a few years ago that costs more each year than i owe in total student loans through a doctoral fellowship [7 years] at state schools. there is NO way that is cost efficient regardless of how he managed to pay for it, that is his perview on spending values, and any argument about quality of education can be dispelled by listing academic achievement (or lack there of) at our local overpriced private uni vs public institutions. why expect him to "feel" tacoma? he can afford more tax so EVERYONE can afford more tax-classic out of touch liberal who knows little of the dark cold tacoma nights fathers work to make their childrens lives' a little warmer.

most unforgivable, because mr mello fancies himself as someone that is smart, is not measuring capacity for exess tax payment. please ask a PhD level economist what it will do to tacoma to levy more taxation here-even if voters approve, there is a responsibility on the part of public officials to know the effect.

i can offer a professional opinion on what it will do sociologically-it will likely cause a deeper class differential here. the resolution is to enroll more poor, working class, and disenfranchised folks to vote for REAL populist candidates, and to understand richy-rich liberals are bad financial managers.

tacoma (i mean the people more than the city budget) is not going to get better financially but probably worse for a couple years. without a luxury tax there is no way to spread our financial burden to wealthy folks-and because of tim eyman and the wa leg it is not legal to impose more tax on property(the easiest luxury to identify)

it may be better to adjust the city budget and not take more from citizens?

by jenyum on 7/24/2011 @ 11:05am
First of all, let's actually link to a source so people know what we're talking about:

Tacoma City Council members want to build popular support for new taxes to repave crumbling streets and sidewalks and build out trails and bike lanes. They could bring their plea to voters as soon as next year.
Council members Ryan Mello, David Boe and Jake Fey last week proposed creating an 11-member task force to decide what kinds of revenue should be tapped to pay for transportation improvements.

Read more:

No one has decided what the tax would be and where it would come from yet, so far there's nothing but a call for a task force to discuss it.

Anyone who follows Tacoma politics (including the people here) knows that the very first thing people will ask an elected official (often not even the correct elected official) is "when are you going to fix the potholes?" Well, to quote Marty Campbell:

We need about 700 million in road and sidewalk repairs. Currently our bi-annual budget is less than 400 million. if we cut police / fire and other services by 10% it would still take 40 years to complete.

If we let the private sector take it over, that would mean toll roads everywhere.

However, almost of the work will be done by the private sector, focusing on locally owned businesses and hiring plenty of local workers.

It may not be the the right time, but I would support the rest of the council in opening a larger discussion about what the real impacts would be and how many jobs it would create.

(Lifted from Marty's Facebook page.) Here is the question: Are we ever going to fix our streets? If yes, how do we pay for that? If you've got an idea, let's hear it.

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 11:07am
"Boe and Mello also seem to be firmly in the Anti-Digital-Billboard camp, so I personally wouldn't trade them in quite yet." Captain

I don't know why you say they are "firmly in the Anti-Digital-Billboard camp." Both of them recently voted to accept a settlement offer from Clear Channel which would have introduced digital billboards to Tacoma for the first time. How can they be anti billboard and pro billboard at the same time?

Also, I agree with your assessment of these two in some respects. They're not horrible, just disappointing. The other 7 council members have previously broken my heart.

President Obama just indicated a few days ago that we should NOT be increasing taxes at this time. Did Mello and Boe get the message, or are they just out on a liberal expeditionary mission?

Regarding your statement that increased taxes aren't hurting you, that's fine. Have you put away enough money for your retirement? How about your child's college fund? Is that fully funded? Do you have enough money in liquid investments to support your family for 6 months like financial planners recommend?

Last time I checked, low taxes were not a bad thing but a good thing. Yes we need money to fight clear channel but we shouldn't be looking at a tax increase for that. We already have a city attorney, that's her job.

The job of the city council is to deliver the services that the city NEEDS at the lowest cost possible. They are not doing this.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 11:10am
Thanks for the link...I'll vote for any candidate who wants to promote crosswalks. I don't care about taxes, there I said it. I want a livable city, and anyone who pushes a stroller through the division/wright park corridor knows you are taking your life in your hands crossing the street.

Tacoma is screwed if it isn't livable, and if it were really livable, your property will be worth a fortune in the future, Pay it forward. Find the money, or print more.

I'll volunteer to paint crosswalks. I'll do it for freakin' free right now.

by cisserosmiley on 7/24/2011 @ 11:16am
jenyum is so correct about the pothole fixin language that spews from candidates jowles...always always always...

i wish there was a way to give service when you don't have tax money because by making taxation monetary only it eliminates some people from giving more...

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 11:18am
"Are we ever going to fix our streets? If yes, how do we pay for that? If you've got an idea, let's hear it." jenyum

Thanks for asking.

1. Stop funding council pet projects, parking lots, $800,000 baseball berms, million dollar reconciliation park cost overruns,

2. Stop funding money for arts programs until the economy improves a lot.

3. Extend efforts to de certify the local government unions. Reduce pay at least 20%, cap payments to workers with HS degrees at $50,000 and college degrees at $75,000 unless market conditions require higher payment for some positions.

4. Put all street work out to bid and eliminate prevailing wage requirements. Let's get the biggest bang for our buck possible.

5. Eliminate the B&O tax so we can attract some major employers to the city.

Marty Campbell is a nice guy, but clearly there is some muddled thinking in his analysis. Put more plainly, we can not afford overpaid city workers AND wonderfully maintained city streets. Something has to give.

by cisserosmiley on 7/24/2011 @ 11:28am
if you eliminate "pet" projects then the potholes near council folks houses won't get fixed - those of us who are neighbors like the extra attention

and love arts money fredo - it returns to the economy fast, while raises to already well paid city workers moves slowly, maybe just sits in an edward jones account?

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 11:39am
that's why I said "until the economy improves"

Only in a liberal utopia can you fund every good idea, for every worthy person, support every wonderful cause and pay lavish salaries and benefits to people who, quite frankly, don't work that hard and do it for 365 days a year.

Anybody have any idea what the people at Economic Development are doing for their $100,000+ salaries? Neither does anybody else.

Regarding the arts, it's kind of sad that some artists work is so undesireable that the only people who will buy it is bureaucrats trying to blow through a stipend from the taxpayers. Pretty sure Emily Dickenson and Vincent vanGogh never took a penny from the tax payers. Their art didn't seem to suffer as a result.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 11:45am
Fredo, I like a lot of your ideas...And Cissero, I wish we could trade service for tax breaks too, I mean Clear Channel does, right?

I think a smart, targeted priority evaluation with a solid urban design could help minimize the costs and increase foot traffic to business corridors around the city (not just the north end). I just like the idea of a walkable/livable city.

Fredo's right when he says we need to attract major employers, and I think a livable city is one of the best ways to attract them. If there are no major employers to attract, then we need to home grow some, and the kinds of people who start those businesses need a helping hand.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 11:47am
It's funny, but I agree with Fredo's stance on public funding of the arts, at least most of it. "it's kind of sad that some artists work is so undesireable that the only people who will buy it is bureaucrats trying to blow through a stipend from the taxpayers."...true dat!

by cisserosmiley on 7/24/2011 @ 12:03pm
giving money for arts is not essential, but i hate to see it get tossed before so many other weird things WE are all paying manager made $900 a day, could he have made $880 a day and an artist $20? would tacoma be more livable?

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 12:14pm
I apply for an arts grant.

I've been providing blog posts for 3 or 4 years free of charge. I would like to continue to provide these unpopular postings which people don't like and don't want to pay for but really think its time for the public to help underwrite these expressions of my performance art. I would suggest that my postings have more relevance and coherance than anything Joe Lonergan or Marilyn Strickland has uttered in the last 2 years, and we pay them plenty.

Here's a thought. Tacoma has a budget of +/- $200M per year. There are 700+ who are paid over $100K per year plus benefits. Let's say these 700 employees cost us $100M per year. That's fully half the city budget. Are these people really providing this level of value to the taxpayers?

I say no.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 12:23pm
Arts funding is minimal compared to the CM's daily pay, that's hilarious. And I don't really want to see funding end, especially not in the education area, that is essential. Art saves lives.

What we have here is a "Oh when will the big business come and save our town?" moment.

We need to figure out what would work here based on the current workforce (and other natural resources) and help those emerging homegrown businesses work and stay here. We have a highly skilled and motivated workforce here. Some entrepreneur should take advantage of that!

Both of the adults in my home commute to Seattle for work that could be in Tacoma, but is not...or isn't for comparable wages. When I applied for positions in Tacoma, my starting salary and skill level placed me right out of the running.

I want to live and work in Tacoma at a job that matters. I want to make about what I make in Seattle. I would love to work for a Tacoma based company. I bet a lot of other Tacomans would too.
Then we could all walk to work and the money we spent on the crosswalks would never come into question. It's not impossible.

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 12:41pm
"Some entrepreneur should take advantage of that! " britton

Why can't this entreprenuer be you? You say you want to work in Tacoma, for a Tacoma based company, you want to walk to work for a job that matters and pays Seattle scale wages. That's all possible when you start your own company right in Tacoma. How does it benefit Tacoma to always leave job creation decisions to someone else?

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 12:47pm
I'm working on it Fredo! I'm working on it! I'll keep you updated, buddy!

by cisserosmiley on 7/24/2011 @ 12:57pm
i have commuted to seattle and oly and i do not miss it...but i can't think of a manufacturing based biz for tacoma that the people here would love to work at? and for every item produced in tacoma the port likely loses revenue on import, and candy and chilli are played out...what to do fredo?

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/24/2011 @ 1:01pm
Get into oil.
Food for thought: 4 refineries in WA.
One is in Bellingham.
Two are in Anacortes.
One is in Tacoma.

Seattle isn't on that cash pony.

by Jesse on 7/24/2011 @ 4:38pm
Fredo makes five expense cutting points earlier in this conversation that I actually agree with. Maybe not entirely with #3... but still...

Does that mean they're ice skating in hell right now?

I'd like to see fredo's suggestions AND the tax increase go through. There's a lot that needs to be done in Tacoma -- I don't think anyone can argue with that.

by tacoma1 on 7/24/2011 @ 5:23pm
I have a few thoughts on this....
1) fix existing sidewalks, and install missing sidewalks so we can walk to the corner store. Walking to the store is cheaper than driving, we can get our exercise while shopping and forego the gym membership too.
2) install more upgraded the crosswalks so we don't die on the way to the store. Dead taxpayers don't pay taxes regularly.
3) leave the potholes in the streets. That way we save millions in street repairs, and the pot holes serve as traffic calming features.
4) how do we know fredo actually has a heart that could be broken?

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 5:48pm
I wouldn't have so much trouble with the poor street conditions...if we weren't already being taxed to pay for street repairs. The city collects these funds then pisses it away on fluff.

Regarding my heart, I'm pretty sure I would not be able to serve as a self appointed spokesperson for Tacoma's underprivileged and disenfranchised struggling working class peons if I didn't have a big heart. When Tacoma's political elite tries to shake these people down I'm going to be there to defend them. That's the kind of person I am.

by tacoma1 on 7/24/2011 @ 6:51pm
As I haven't yet seen any evidence of fredo possessing a heart, I would probably have to insist on an independent third party to verify said heart in question.

Also, if an actual heart is verified, the temperature of the heart would be helpful to know as well.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2011 @ 6:58pm
I'm independent, and I shook Fredo's hand the other day. He and his whole family showed up at the billboard protest...I've seen heartless monsters up close before, Fredo is not one of them.

by fredo on 7/24/2011 @ 7:46pm
truer words were never spoken, thanks britt. pretty sure tacoma1 was just having some fun. I don't mind, he's knowledgable about a few things.

by Mofo from the Hood on 7/24/2011 @ 9:50pm
It's no mystery why the Tacoma Municipal Playhouse is located off Broadway.

by panachronic on 7/24/2011 @ 10:27pm
If a new tax is needed to fix our streets, I propose a 100% income tax on former city managers.

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/24/2011 @ 10:35pm
No one asking why exactly it is that our current tax levels can't support proper road maintenance and repairs.

Well, COT?
Poor management?
Poor design that ended up needing more repairs?
Deferred maintenance for too long? (in that case, where did that $$$ go?)

I'm waiting...

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 8:51am
raise the B&O tax on current billboards in all of Tacoma. Something crazy like 9000% Problem solved.

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 9:04am
Vincent Van Gogh only became a commercial success long after he killed himself. Therefore I am worried that the Economic Development Department is secretly plotting the deaths of every artist in T-Town and making it look like a suicide. CONSPIRACY ALERT!

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 9:07am
also spent Sunday on a boat touring Commencement Bay... plenty of huge mansions and sail boats out there. More mansions under construction too. If you want to tax somebody... target the folks with huge sail boats and houses.

by fredo on 7/25/2011 @ 9:13am
...if any local artists are caught slicing off their own ears we will have some validation for your theory. thanks nachos

by fredo on 7/25/2011 @ 9:28am
Speaking of the City Department of Economic Development.

They recently participated in causing the city to invest $2,000,000 (that could have been used for pothole repairs) with the Prium Development Company. Where is that money today and what benefit did the taxpayers get from it? Someone please answer this question.

Prium is an LLC. Wasn't this a tipoff to anyone with common sense that the company could be a shell for some elaborate scam? A 2 million dollar lesson for the city? A little digging would have revealed that the same people were involved in the MLK housing development scandal, brokered by who? Oh yeah, the city's puppetmaster Brian Ebersole whose lap dog is....Mayor Marilyn Strickland.

Back to Economic Development. Would someone please list the recent accomplishments of this department? Doesn't this department exist so city leaders will have a place to make patronage rewards when needed at taxpayers expense?

by cisserosmiley on 7/25/2011 @ 9:53am
it's the same old talks in 'merica so when jake fey needs ANOTHER $150,000 to flush down a toilet in the next election he loses he will need to get it from those on sailboats and living in mansions...

would if the economic development board killed themselves? not so much for artistic valuation but like hari kari because they have obviously failed and should be embarrassed

by Mofo from the Hood on 7/25/2011 @ 10:13am
Seriously, most Tacomans wouldn't recognize a moral health warning even if it was waving on a flagpole atop the Municipal Building.

In our political system the trend is toward comforting everybody. The scheme of government being representative, diverse and not unified, does not guarantee players who know anything of right reason.

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 12:38pm
here is a video posted in the TNT comment thread of an angry old man and old lady driving around an 'illegal immigrant housing project' complaining about foreigners and socialist government

10 minutes of CRAZY! Will give you a sense of where fredo is coming from. . . ?

by cisserosmiley on 7/25/2011 @ 1:18pm
i wish people were not racist and xenaphobic, but i can see how angry some people would be if they were struggling and others got $2,600 a month + + i am now on a search to find a country to emigrate to that has a similar program...any info about finland would be appreciated

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 1:30pm
not Norway ?,_Tacoma,_...

by fredo on 7/25/2011 @ 1:37pm
10 minutes of CRAZY! Will give you a sense of where fredo is coming from. . . ?

heh, no more crazy then the hours of liberal nonsense we get on feedtacoma every week.

But since it was mentioned in the video, why do the poor people who haven't invested anything in the neighborhood get curbs and sidewalks? In my neighborhood which was platted in the 1940s we still don't have curbs and there are entire blocks with no sidewalks.

Regarding the racism and zenaphobia in the video, I get the idea that the narrator would be just as upset if the beneficiaries of the the government largesse were white. He was talking specifically about a refugee program. Apparently there are few white refugees.

by panachronic on 7/25/2011 @ 1:55pm
Don't mind RR, Fredo. I'm sure you know by now that he can't make a point without his pal, the straw man.

by cisserosmiley on 7/25/2011 @ 1:58pm
maybe i could get a fake foreign ID and emigrate to tacoma

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 2:57pm
straw man... you mean the islamization of europe ?

by jenyum on 7/25/2011 @ 3:29pm
There is no such thing as "refugee pay." And illegal immigrants do not qualify to live in Salishan.

On the "refugee pay" urban myth:

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 3:37pm
commentary on this scary driver rant on my facebook is quite entertaining. Who hasn't friended me yet?

by fredo on 7/25/2011 @ 4:03pm
Well, I am happy to hear that the people living in Salishan are not on any public assistance programs, are not illegals and are not getting any government handouts whatsoever.

Regarding the scary driver rant, I'm pretty sure that's just an anarchist infiltrator type person. They're trying to stir up class hatred, and judging from RR's posting, it's working!

by cisserosmiley on 7/25/2011 @ 4:18pm
the reality is that "refugees" have not paid into SS or SSI or MEDICAID...when current citizens do NOT have a ss# they also do NOT get benefits, refugees can get some benefits(as long as they are on the road to naturalization)...this is the actual basis for the anti-immigration stanse and is not even close to "thousands in free govment $$$" but i do understand how it squeaks a little unfair to some folks...

by jenyum on 7/25/2011 @ 5:36pm
Cissero I don't understand what you are saying. If citizens don't have a social security number they can't get benefits? Well, yeah... If I don't have an account number I can't use my health insurance benefits either.

As far as receiving benefits without paying into them, that's kinda the basis for the SSI program. Citizens who are disabled but have never paid taxes in their lives still qualify, so long as they meet the disability and income standards.

by cisserosmiley on 7/25/2011 @ 6:34pm
yes jenyum, all true...but it is still exactly why some are mad (not me by the way) because folks that are here are a draw on our communities resources regardless of SS SSI WIC TANF status-if they don't participate in these programs and do not work they will beg, steal, work under the table, go hungry and unhealthy, and cost more in medical care later and become at risk of being jailed (our two most expensive institutions, healthcare, corrections) - smarter to aid folks a little and keep all the begging, stealing etc to a minimum.

...while those that just turn up from other countries with refugee status were not drawing on our communities resources before their arrival, were not at risk of jail before their arrival, will not have catastrophic healthcare costs before their arrival...when resources run low (or are percieved to) the right looks to raise the bar of participation and want more in "trade" for the public assistance given (ex. new florida law requires welfare recipients to be drug tested) since refugees have nothing to "trade" until they are full-on americans at risk of jail, cancer, and panhandling, some on the right do not understand the value in feeding these folks and keeping them healthy.

it's an investment that takes years to pay off and is difficult to see driving around salishan, so i do not judge republicans too harshly.

by Mofo from the Hood on 7/25/2011 @ 7:06pm
It's all very amusing to witness the news media attention given to independent lifestyle advocates Mello and Boe. No one suspects that they would exchange their Keys to the City for membership keys to Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Still, one can hope that one day we Tacomans may look to the top of the Tacoma Municipal Building and salute a 30-foot tall Rabbit Head.

by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2011 @ 7:28pm