State Representative Mike Hope, candidate for Snohomish County Executive, cites disappointment with the 2011 budget signed by Aaron Reardon today. “There were many bad budgeting decisions made by our County Executive today, but the real losers are the families and taxpayers of Snohomish County”, stated Hope.
Hope questions Reardon’s history of shady budgets, just as in 2009 when the budget proposed was $19 million short. In his 2010 budget, Reardon claimed he cut a deal with county employees to take 14 unpaid furlough days, something they didn’t sign on to. Once again, the County Council stepped in and repaired the county’s relationship with its valuable workforce. “As Executive, I will be committed to protecting these hard-working employees who, thru no fault of their own, are having their lives impacted greatly.”
On the issue of law enforcement, Hope calls Reardon’s budget absolutely unacceptable. “People of Snohomish County are having their homes ransacked by burglars, their cars broken in to, and the current County Executive wants to lay off Sheriff’s deputies? That’s just wrong.” Reardon’s budget eliminates approximately 20 deputy jobs currently vacant, as well as other significant cuts to law enforcement personnel. The county is also losing dedicated deputies they have already recruited and trained as they look for other positions with word of impending layoffs.
Reardon also failed law enforcement by not including adequate funding in his budget for technology used in patrol cars to monitor real-time crime information. As a former crime analysis detective, Mike Hope understands how important this technology is to saving lives and apprehending suspects. “On his website Reardon states his budget focuses on public safety. I have to wonder if the people of Snohomish County agree”, stated Hope.
Reardon’s budget is also $260 million short on the transportation budget over the next 15 years. The budget focuses on short term fixes while ignoring the long term needs of the county. Hope questions, “How much longer is Reardon going to let people sit in traffic and congestion before he gets serious about transportation? I think the people of Snohomish County would rather spend that time with their families.”
In closing, Hope appreciates the work of the County Council to adequately correct the budget of the County Executive. ”Reardon has provided us with the sort of backroom, gimmicky math that taxpayers are sick and tired of. As Executive, I will be upfront with the people of Snohomish County and provide the real kind of transparency the current Executive only espouses”, stated Hope.
Mike Hope and his wife Sara live in Lake Stevens. Hope is a State Representative of the 44th legislative district, including Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Bothell and Mill Creek. He is also a 13-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, former business owner, and United States Marine.