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Online Primary Voters' Pamphlet, August 6, 2013

City of Yelm - Proposition No. 1 - Community Center and Park Bonds


Introduction to Local Measures - This page contains the local measure certified to appear on the November 5, 2013, General Election ballot. Only voters residing in the district will be eligible to vote on this measure.

For each measure in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet, the legislative authority of the jurisdiction placing the measure on the ballot is required to formally appoint committees to prepare statements advocating the approval and rejection of the measure. If the jurisdiction is unable to make such appointments, the Thurston County Auditor advertises for such appointments.

The Auditor’s Office encourages you to thoroughly review all statements and seek additional information from the jurisdictions, the appointed citizens’ committees, and the local and regional media.

Please Note: Statements are written by the pro and con committee members, who are solely responsible for the contents therein. Statements are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for factual or grammatical accuracy by the Auditor’s Office.
  Only voters residing within the city limits of Yelm will vote on this measure.  
Ballot Title:

The City Council of the City of Yelm has passed Ordinance No. 975 concerning financing the expansion of and improvements to Yelm City Park. If approved, this proposition would authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not more that $5,742,000 (maturing within 25 years or less) to pay cost of constructing a community center and supporting facilities and carrying out other park improvements, and authorize the annual levy of excess property taxes to pay and retire such bonds, all as provided in Ordinance No. 975.

Should this proposition be approved:
Oval   Yes
Oval   No
Explanatory Statement:

City of Yelm seeks voter approval to sell $5,742,000 in bonds to finance the cost of expanding and improving Yelm City Park located downtown at the corner of First Street (SR 507) & Mosman Avenue. The proposed improvements include redesigning the park, constructing a new community center to include a commercial kitchen and new restrooms, modernizing and expanding play equipment, and a water spray park.

The bonds will be repaid from annual excess property taxes. The City anticipates a tax rate increase (over the existing rate) to repay the bonds of $0.61 per $1,000 of assessed value for 25 years, or $91.50 per year for a home valued at $150,000.

Exemptions from taxes may be available to homeowners who are 61 or older, or disabled, and who meet certain income requirements. To determine if you qualify, call the Thurston County Assessor
(360) 867-2200.

Statement prepared by: P. Stephen (Steve) DiJulio,
Foster Pepper PLLC

Statement For:

Vote Yes to Upgrade Yelm City Park
Prairie Days, Christmas in the Park, concerts, birthday parties, family reunions - chances are you have attended one or more such events at Yelm City Park. If so, you will agree that we need to show some love to this well-used heart of our community.

The proposed plan will make the park more functional, attractive, and add much needed amenities, like an indoor community center that will offer gathering space available to all community members for meetings, classes, and special events. It will be equipped with a commercial kitchen, outdoor stage, and spray park for summer splashing fun.

Also part of the plan is a new children’s play area and a proposal to move the skate park to a new location with a more challenging course. An improved memorial plaza will pay fitting tribute to our armed services members and the contributions they make to our community. Overall, the park will have more open space, and the upgrade will beautify the downtown area for citizens and visitors alike.

This exciting new plan cannot be implemented without public support. By approving the modest tax levy of about $8 per home each month, residents will join in a shared community investment that meets our needs today and will serve our community for years to come. Please vote Yes for the City of Yelm’s Capital Bond, and help make our public park facility a more comfortable, accommodating, and enjoyable place to be.

Statement prepared by: Jen Littlefield, Terry Kaminski, Janet Andersen

Statement Against:

The currently proposed Park Levy overhaul is too expensive! Everyone likes Park improvements, yet do all residents like having to pay an average of $110 per year for 25 years if passed? Of course not, as the large number of Primary voters against this proposal demonstrated! This plan needs to be reduced in the costs on taxpayers’ backs. As an example, with the city imposing annual water irrigation restrictions on businesses in the summer, is a costly water feature in the park a wise use of funds or one that sends a mixed message about the city’s water conservation?

Yelm is a military town, comprised of over 30% today. Now is not the time for adding additional taxpayer burdens with Sequestration’s affects. There is a sense of unease here. Many salaries and job cuts have been enacted, trickling down to less spending.

In these tough economic times, we have all cut back our expenses. A message needs to be sent to our City Council to do the same. Yelm officials need to put forward a revised Park Levy proposal the entire taxpaying public can easily fund. Please vote No to raising our taxes and stop this irresponsible levy in these challenging times.

Statement prepared by: Steve Klein, host & the Yelm Community Blog

Rebuttal of the Statement For:

Yelm has a United Way funded community center, why another? A 25 year, $110 average annual tax increase may seem little, yet Sequestration challenges those on fixed stipends. In August, Yelm increased their budget by $5.2 million to cover in-part “increased maintenance costs of city parks; the cost of security cameras added after vandalism at Yelm City Park,” not included in this Levy. Overly excessive park expenditures now are untimely.

No on Park Levy.

Rebuttal of the Statement Against:
In the primary election, a majority of Yelm voters approved the bond measure for Yelm City Park and Community Center. They agree our community needs more options that allow citizens to stay in town for lessons, meetings, and gatherings rather than driving somewhere else, which costs money. The Community Center will provide that indoor meeting space and more. Our children deserve a place to play that is safe and fun. Please vote yes!
Ballots will begin arriving October 17, 2013. If you have not received your ballot by October 24,
contact our office immediately.

Phone: (360) 786-5408     TTY: (360) 754-2933

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