Proposition 1, “South Sound 911″ is an example of unnecessary overtaxation. Pierce County is using the federal mandate to upgrade radio systems to justify asking for a sales tax increase that is overly excessive.
For years Pierce County has known of this looming requirement. For years it has failed to place a high priority on upgrading its radios. Now it doesn’t just want us to pay for its lack of planning but also wants us to give the county enough money to overhaul the entire 911 system.
The county implies our safety is at risk if we reject this plan, but what we’re not told is that Proposition 1 is a huge moneymaker for Pierce County. It will generate hundreds of million dollars in excess of what is needed to meet the federal mandate. It allows for the overhaul of a 911 system that is not broken.
Proposition 1 will not improve the way our 911 needs are currently met and will, in many instances, reduce our current level of service. It forces consolidation into a system run by Pierce County, forcing all cities to contract with Pierce County for their 911 services. There are much more efficient options for consolidation.
Proposition 1 is not supported by all police and fire agencies in Pierce County. This is a very good reason to look closely at what Pierce County is proposing.
Pierce County radios need to be fixed; 911 does not.