EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, posted exactly as written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

More Police Officers vs New Schools And The Money For Neither. We have lived here in the city of Des Moines for ten years now, we have seen a steady decline in the quality of our city, we are both angered and saddened by what is taken place in our city, from the abandoned and empty store fronts in our business district to the rising and out of control crime that now plagues our city, our elected city leaders here in Des Moines seem to be silent and no where to be seen or heard. We have seen a number of our friends and neighbors sell their homes and move in search of a better community to raise their children others still have their home on the market waiting for their home to sell before they to can leave. It is all too common now to hear from one of our friends and neighbors that their car, garage or home has been broken into even when we go shopping to Fred Meyers or Safeway or the new Normandy Park Market our cars are broken into. We even had our backyard shed broken into and all of my lawn equipment and pressure washer was stolen, ABC Market here in Des Moines has been robbed and burglarized three times just in the last month, the new pizza parlor in Normandy Park was robbed at gun point. We are no longer safe in our community. When we first bought our home the majority of all the crime in our city was on or east of Pacific Highway, well that is no longer the case, even our locking community mail boxes are no longer safe from the criminals that now roam our neighborhoods with ease. We have talked to our city’s police officers they are well aware of the increased crime in our city and are doing their best with what they have to work with, we are told that our city just does not have the resources ( the money ) to hire additional police officers that our city so dearly needs to battle our out of control crime and keep us safe. The school bond failed this past November, now three months later the exact same bond is back on the ballot? this time it’s packaged with a levy for over 500 million dollars yes half a Billion dollars of Higher Increased Taxes just for the Highline School District with zero explanation or information to be included in our Voters Pamphlet? Why is it that our City’s that we live in and The Highline School District are so broken? If we are voting to increase our property taxes our City Leaders and the Highline School Board needs to understand that the safety of our family members and neighbors come first over new schools, this school bond and levy needs to be voted down again we need to demand more police officers for our cities. If we are going to attract quality middle class working family’s back to our communities it starts with a crime free or at least a low crime rate city not new schools! Highline School Board will be presenting a three year M&O Levy for the same amount as our four year Levy, without any explanation of the significant increase. I will be voting no this time on both the school bond and the school levy and will urge our friends and neighbors to do the same, if we are being asked again and again to raise our property taxes with one bond and levy after another our tax dollars should go first for more police officers. We are no longer safe in our cities, We Are Highline. – John Castronover Des Moines WA
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