Sen. Pam Roach continues to provide a strong voice for the 31st District | Letter

Pam Roach has been an extremely effective senator for her district. Whereas, Ms. Dahlquist has demonstrated a track record that shows a lack of understanding of the legal and legislative actions she supports or worse, quitting when it doesn’t go her way.

First, Ms. Dahlquist was instrumental in leading the Enumclaw School Board in approving the Comprehensive School Mitigation Agreement for the Black Diamond developments and cites it as her legacy, yet this agreement is costing the ESD and taxpayers on average of $6K per month since late 2008 in legal and consultant fees. Ongoing public disclosure request reflect that the ESD has spent approximately $444,000 in general funds on legal and consultant fees to date.

This CSMA does not mitigate the substantial property tax increase from ESD taxpayers to pay for the new schools as disclosed in both the final EIS and the fiscal school analysis from Parametrix dated April 17, 2009, which also stated, “In order to maintain the current level of instructional funding, the district as a whole will need to support schools at a somewhat higher tax rate, assuming that state funding formulas stay about the same.” Many taxpayers spoke to these issues in front of Ms. Dahlquist and the ESB and specifically asked that they add language for legal reimbursement and increase the mitigation fees.

Next, Ms. Dahlquist showed up at a public hearing in Black Diamond Elementary School regarding the ESD attempts to take commercial lands from the Tahoma School District for the benefit of the ESD, and compared it to levy equalization. Her lack of understanding or simplistic comparison should give us pause as to her understanding of issues that she is supposedly experienced in. Levy equalization is when the state provides some additional funds to help areas with low property values which are designed to equalize property poor and property rich districts, it’s also known as local effort assistance. That is not the same as petitioning to take another district’s commercial land and tax revenue to offset the horrible CSMA in Black Diamond. The Puget Sound Educational School District agreed and voted 5-0 to deny the ESD its request.

Finally, we can look at how ineffectual Ms. Dahlquist is when the legislative process gets difficult by her action of quitting the House Education Committee. Per the Seattle Times, Dahlquist’s response was to say she’d quit as the ranking Republican on the committee because the legislation had been hijacked and amended “in the middle of the night” without her consent. Politics isn’t always pretty and it isn’t for the faint of heart but I want someone who represents my district and doesn’t quit when it gets too hard.

Re-elect Pam Roach for senator.

Cindy Proctor