Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, June 10

Peninsula School District needs Leslie Harbaugh

As a resident of Gig Harbor for over a decade and a proud parent of a Peninsula School District (PSD) student, I enthusiastically endorse Leslie Harbaugh for the PSD Board of Directors, District 4 position.

Leslie has a long and distinguished history of civic stewardship, organizing, team building, and using strong collaboration skills to build consensus in the myriad organizations and committees in which she has been involved. Unlike many who just talk about the issues, Leslie puts “rubber to the road.” She has worked tirelessly on much needed capital improvement campaigns and has served on both Artondale Elementary and Gig Harbor High School Parent Teacher Organizations.

Leslie Harbaugh has taken an unwavering stance on state funding of primary education. Leslie will continue to challenge Olympia to meet the voter-mandated obligation to fully fund education and reduce class size in Washington state. Legislators must prioritize funding education and Leslie is the one to take them to task. In these times of ever-diminishing resources and ever-increasing needs, our students, families, and educators need a champion ...

Peninsula School District needs Leslie Harbaugh.

Brian Bergren

Gig Harbor

Proposed increases in utility rates are wildly inflationary

As predicted (see Gateway’s Letters, March 11), Gig Harbor has unveiled its proposed increases in the city’s utility rates . What was not predicted is the staggering enormity and unprecedented extent of their proposed increases. Each of the three utility rates (water, sewer, stormwater) would be raised every year for six succeeding years (2015-2020), i.e., water by 5 (percent), 5, 5, 5, 4, 4; sewer by 4.5 (percent), 4.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5 and drainage by 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5 and 3.5. These raises would cumulatively amount to a 72-percent increase in utility rates over the six-year period.

Gig Harbor’s utility rates have been raised consistently since 2005, increasing by 253 percent in the last 10 years, a time during which the consumer price index only increased by 25.12 percent. If these new raises are passed, by 2020, Gig Harbor’s utility rates will have been increased 325 percent in 15 years.

One must remember that these “rates” for municipal services, are also taxed (the city taxes each of the charges for water, sewer and drainage, at 5 percent, and the state taxes water at 5.029 percent, sewer at 3.85 percent and drainage by 1.5 percent). With these taxes, the impact on consumers of the proposed rate increases (72) will actually be 88 percent over six years.

This proposal is wildly inflationary. Will your income be increasing by 88 percent over the next six years?

Don Bremmer

Gig Harbor

Maritime Gig Parade needs return to small-town roots

When I was a child growing up in Seattle, each neighborhood had a parade for Seafair. The neighborhood parade had the feel of a small-town parade. Every year had marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats, policemen riding motorcycles, Seafair princesses, classic cars and other bits of Americana.

The Gig Harbor Parade used to have many of the same qualities, but has, in my opinion, devolved into a walking billboard for local businesses, churches, schools and this year an anti-abortion group. Coupled with the myriad booths that blocked the spectators from viewing the actual parade gave the event more the quality of a trade show.

Please bring back the small-town parade. We deserve better!

Zack Rosenbloom

Gig Harbor