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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 22, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Budget cuts for all

However will he survive?

Editor, The Times:

I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of UW [University of Washington] President Mark Emmert’s offer to forego a pay raise this year in the face of a global recession and increases in tuition at the UW [“UW president won’t take pay raise this year,” Times, News, Nov. 21].

How in the world is he and his family going to be able to scrape by on just a $905,000 salary and $340,000 from his other positions? It’s a darn good thing he doesn’t have to pay for living in his mansion. We all should be humbled.

— Stephen Nelson, Seattle

Start at the top

Why not start at the top and reduce the executives, administrators and professors salaries by 20 percent for the next two years. Salaries will be restored when there is a surplus.

I can’t believe that King County Executive Ron Sims or UW President Mark Emmert would be significantly in trouble if their salaries were cut by 20 percent or more. After all of the top-level salaries are cut, then let’s see where other cuts need to take place.

— William Zersen, Bellingham

What are we becoming?

We are absolutely dismayed and outraged at Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle City Council’s enormous proposed tax increases [“Nickels, City Council propose spending cuts, higher parking fees to meet budget shortfall,” News, Nov. 7].

We are in our mid 80s, have lost more than half of our retirement income — the remaining half of which is evaporating quickly. If Nickels and the Seattle City Council force these unaffordable increases on helpless citizens, we and hundreds like us could lose our homes.

They must re-examine their proposed budget. Police and fire protection must remain strong, but many more administrative jobs could be eliminated. Libraries, parks, public art, trees and shrubs along thoroughfares, $8.6 million dollars for the “missing link” to the Burke-Gilman Trail, etc. should be put on hold for now — they are not essential.

The housing issue instigated by the mortgage fiasco has not yet run its course. By raising taxes and expenses on homeowners and renters, they run the risk of putting more homes in jeopardy and businesses defaulting. Non essentials must wait until the economy has had a chance to recover.

Water and garbage collection fees must remain untouched. If our elected officials fail to maintain basic services at their current level, they will betray the city of Seattle, and exclude all except the very wealthy from residing here.

— Helen and David Belvin, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Taxes, Washington Legislature

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