The Cactus Speaks: Garbage Done, now Prop One

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at [email protected].]

by Earl Gipson

The garbage contract was awarded to Cleanscapes unanimously by the Council in Tuesday’s meeting with many kudos to Republic for their years of service and community involvement. It came down to spending taxpayer’s money responsibly and the objective analysis done by Staff/experts. The union locals resolved their differences and enough said there. The changeover won’t happen until June so plenty of time for changeover planning and customer education/outreach.

Okay, lets talk about SeaTac Prop #1. The wonderful 9 page document spells out a minimum $15 per hour for certain job categories with the City determining who is hired by what private companies and what those private companies must provide to those workers. That’s a union contract (walks like duck, quacks like duck). If anyone hasn’t guessed yet, I think this is a bad idea and most likely an illegal Proposition. I will explain why I think it’s a bad idea but the legal part would be explored only if it passes.

SeaTac taxpayers would be paying for administering a union by default for ~ 6,000 workers of which only about 5 percent live in the City. The City Staff has been reluctant to put a price on this “privilege” so we can assume it’s a large number (7 figures). This is money the City simply doesn’t have and would have to find additional revenue. Guess where that would come from? The money would come from you and me, with nothing to show for it but a new City bureaucracy that will be at odds with our own City businesses (I’m not sure if that is a new issue).

The Prop #1 people say that this is backed by 20 or more SeaTac businesses. Yep, and every one of those businesses are not affected by the Proposition but their competitors are. How convenient. The face of these businesses has been Don Liberty, owner of the Bullpen Bar & Grill. I imagine as SeaTac unemployment rises the bar business may indeed pick up as the few SeaTac residents that have covered jobs lose them in the face of competition for the higher wages. They will need a place to wallow in their new found misery.

Prop #1 is economically irresponsible. Raising a business’s major expense by 63 percent overnight will put them out of business or they will just move to where the Prop does not affect them. Also the prices of things will rise and the $15 an hour bunch will just be handing it over to buy the same stuff at higher prices. Their windfall will not last long. For those poor souls not in one of those covered job categories their paychecks will buy even less. Talk about the poor getting poorer.

Am I giving you a recommendation on voting NO on Prop #1? Well yes, in fact I am and have been ever since I read the thing. As a long time SeaTac resident, I can see the forest despite the trees, and I have no interest in running down our City more than it has been already. Voting NO gives us a glimmer of hope that another major exodus of SeaTac taxpayers will be forestalled and we have an opportunity to repair the economic damage already done to us at the hands of our politicians (external and internal) and the unions. I may be a Cactus but I am still an optimistic one.

By the way I love the Yes!SeaTac signs. The little paper airplane is their jobs flying away if Prop #1 passes.


7 Responses to “The Cactus Speaks: Garbage Done, now Prop One”
  1. Concerned Business says:

    As a former customer came into my business, who moved out of SeaTac because of the last election results” when 3 seats in council were bought” but she could not sell her house as the price had been de-valued by The City’s actions of late. She is renting the house out, she stated if it passes she will raise her rent $300.00 as the people who rent it both work at the airport, yep this will help SeaTac LOL.

    • Janice Taylor says:

      Concerned Business:
      My neighbors and I, who live about as far north in Seatac as you can get, were shocked by the devalued county property assessment we received earlier this year, indicative of the lack of concern the Gang of Four has for the city in general. One would think they’d strive to improve city neighborhoods, thereby increasing tax revenue to fund their pet projects and skullduggery.

      During last Thursday’s “Seattle Speaks” meeting, one young woman said the minimum wage should be raised so she could afford to live in the city where she works. So do thousands of Wall Street folks. Remember, these are the people who “need” make $500,000 per year plus bonuses in order to live in that city. These are the exact same people our progressives use to exemplify greed and entitlement. Funny, isn’t it?

      Maybe, just maybe our Gang of Four has some insidious plan to encourage underpaid workers of Seattle to move to Seatac. Just what we need, more people who use Seatac as a stepping stone to move somewhere else.

  2. Dan Decker says:

    The $15.00 per hour jobs will fit in well with the $9,000,000 contract police department. If the police were not contract it would be about $5,000,000 per year not $9,000,000. And do not forget the new contract fire department that just added another almost $2,000,000 per year to the so called fire protection to the City of SeaTac.These are Your Tax Dollars Going Up In Smoke each year. Why not add another burden brought to You by Your elected officials? The $15.00 per hour hotel/motel employee hourly wage should work well, if closing down the hotel/motel strip is what we have in mind. Look real hard at Your Mayor. What conflict of interest is he up to? Well, he is behind the $9,000,000 contract police departmet and the extra $2,000,000 being spent on the new contract fire departmet.

  3. Doris Cassan says:

    The List of Ten why one should Vote NO on Proposition 1

    1. It is discriminatory.

    2. It pits employers, employees and city against each other.

    3. It was written by a lawyer on behalf of outside interests, not for the citizens of SeaTac.

    4. It will be of benefit very few of SeaTac residences.

    5. It will require the City of SeaTac to administer the Proposition; thereby causing SeaTac taxpayers to foot the bill.

    6. It is a very, very intrusive piece of legislation allowing a government body to be involved in the day to day operations of private enterprises.

    7. It mandates how a company can hire employees thereby eliminating opportunities for local young men and women entering the work force.

    8. It will give pause to other companies that might wish to locate in the City of SeaTac. If this type of intrusion happens to one industry, it could happen to another.

    9. It will give current employers no other choice than to look at methods of automation to operate their businesses or move to another city.

    10. It has enticed the pro proposition group to make up a bunch of untruths or half truths to promote it. And the promoters themselves do not abide by the same rules as it wishes to mandate to others.

    Ok Anyone else wish to add to the 10 list?

  4. Vicki Lockwood says:

    The employees should be negotiating their wages with their employers, not the taxpayers. If they are bringing more value to their employers than it is costing the employers to employ them, then they may get a raise. If they are worth more money and their employer refuses to recognize their value, then they should find a different employer who does recognize their worth. If they are not worth more money than they are currently getting, then they need to learn new skills and/or change their work ethic so that they will be worth more money. This issue has nothing to do with taxpayers!

  5. Janice Taylor says:

    When I had my business, I hired high school kids to work Summer and weekends. I typically paid $1 more than minimum wage. I knew I had to teach them some job skills and get them used to working in the real world. I viewed “my kids” as an investment in the future. If I were forced to pay $15, I’d no longer use high school kids. At that rate, potential employees better come with pre-packaged skills, credentials and work ethic. As The Cactus pointed out, the paper airplane represents jobs flying out of Seatac. Who’s throwing said airplane? Look at the sign–it’s a kid.