Letters to the Editor

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PROPOSITION 1: Typo is a fatal flaw

Letter by Mark L. Bubenik, Gig Harbor on Oct. 27, 2011 at 10:14 am with 11 Comments »
October 27, 2011 10:16 am

Re: “Prop. 1 text has a typo in tax number” (TNT, 10-22).

This front-page article told us that the wording for Prop. 1 on the ballot and voter pamphlet contains an inaccurate figure for the proposed countywide sales tax hike that would raise money for South Sound 911. While the ballot and voter pamphlet wording stated that the increase would be “one tenth of one percent” the numerical amount stated was 0.01 percent, which is not accurate. One tenth of one percent (which is the accurate amount of the increase) is 10 times greater than 0.01 percent.

In talking with several attorneys, it is believed that this error is a fatal flaw because unlike writing a check where the written amount takes precedence over the numbers written, a ballot measure must be clear and accurate. Some people, including myself grasp and remember numbers faster than we grasp and remember words. Therefore, there has to be total accuracy in what is stated in a ballot measure.

County officials need to acknowledge this mistake as being a fatal flaw and, if this measure passes, recognize that it is a waste of time and money to defend against a legal challenge. If the County desires to proceed with another similar ballot measure, most voters that I have talked with would like to see a sunset provision terminating the sales tax increase after the cost of the 911 capital costs for the improvements has been paid.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. puyallupmutt says:

    If the measure passes, I would expect a gaggle of ambulance chasing attorneys will have a judge intervene and declare the venture invalid. I would hope so.

    The whole mess will have to be repeated in the spring.

    The person who wrote and proof read the wording in the Voters Pamphlet was probably hired from the Obamacare printing office.

  2. BigSwingingRichard says:

    I agree, one-tenth of one percent is .001 not .01 percent. One percent is .01 and one tenth of one percent is .001

    “.01 percent” is numerically .0001

    “.01 percent” is one “one-hundredth of a percent, not one-tenth of a percent.

    The correct presentation for one-tenth of a percent is .1 percent or .001 without the word “percent”.

  3. PumainTacoma says:

    Typically 9am-3pm county worker.

  4. henderth says:

    Well Said Mark. Your remark about a number registering more clearly than the words is exactly what I thought, and this is why the description of the proposition in the pamphlet is in fact misleading, despite the County’s attempt to tap dance around the misrepresentation.

  5. Really911 says:

    There will need to be action taken prior to Nov 8th or someone on the proponents side will be saying, “why did you wait until after Nov 8th to take action, were you waiting to see how the vote would come out first”?

  6. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Gee, Kardy, what say you now?

    Seems I wasn’t the one having difficulty with decimal point location after all.

    But then, unlike poor Kardy, I don’t take everything PC says as the Gospel (or any other gvmt. body for that matter). The Voter’s Pamphlet is a useful tool – a starting or ending point in the process of making up ones own mind on issues and candidates. Far too many don’t even take that step. Still, being wrong in such a publication by a factor of ten is a brow-raiser.

    But I won’t be waiting up for an apology from ‘ol Kardy.

  7. fatecreatr says:

    We did take it to the county as soon as it was noticed but were told there is nothing they could do since they were not notified within the 10 day window which starts at the filing date (mid September, over a month before the pamphlets go out.) I personally took this all the way up to the Attorney General, but they said they have no jurisdiction over local governments and the only action we can take will be a legal battle after the vote.

    Should this proposition pass,we’ll need to take it to court.

    The chain of command on this error is pretty questionable.

  8. LarryFine says:

    Vox… you’ll need to address that to “Voltaire”… or one of his other new monikers.

  9. tree_guy says:

    Let’s just vote Prop. 1 down, then we won’t have to revisit the decimal point problem any further. Whoever caught this error, bless you.

  10. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Thanks LF, I have noticed the threads are a lot cleaner lately. I attributed it to the usual electioneering crap that takes over the threads every year about this time. Boring.

    I wouldn’t expect anything from whatever it’s called – then or now – anyway. Like so many other ideologues who frequent this format, there is no admitting errors – intentional or otherwise, no self deprecating humor… in fact, no sense of humor whatsoever, and certainly no humility or contrition.


  11. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Almost forgot; VOLTAIRE??????? LMAO, no ego problems with Kardy, right?

    Still fightin’ the good fight like it’s 1710, LOL.

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