Re: “Bryan Flint is right: TPU should foot the bill to go ‘all-in’ on Click,” (TNT, 9/18).
I was surprised and dismayed by Matt Driscoll’s column. Somehow he seems of the opinion that TPU represents a pot of gold to be utilized to balance non-utility budgets.
The truth is these costs will be borne by the ratepayers, many of whom can ill afford higher utility bills. It also flies in the face of cost-of-service principles and is probably illegal under state law. Ignoring cost-of-service also initiates a slippery slope for the future.
Driscoll goes on to say it’s unrealistic to expect the City Council to shutter libraries or shortchange needed public safety issues in order to funnel money toward Click. It seems to me that Tacoma/Pierce County, with one of the highest property tax rates in the state, needs to prioritize and balance the budget without shortchanging vital services.
There is widespread availability of internet service in Tacoma due to robust private sector competition that also disciplines market prices. The argument is not about doing away with Click, but rather about putting it on a sustainable basis without relying on public sector subsidies. Partnering with a private sector entity makes financial and operational sense.
(Coates is a former TPU director.)