Vote 'yes' on YMCA facility
October 10, 2012 · Updated 12:20 PM
A Sammamish City Non-Binding YMCA Facility Question is on the crowded November 6, 2012 ballot. While reportedly tight races for top elected offices both nationally and state-wide, along with a wide array of critically important initiatives dominate the headlines, the proposed City/YMCA project might well be the ballot measure that actually impacts current and future Sammamish residents most directly ---- and for years to come.
Voters and non-voters have often argued that their vote generally doesn’t really matter in the big picture. The logic being that a single vote is statistically insignificant and that the candidates often are more alike than not. The belief is that either way, the results will have little or no bearing on their or their loved ones lives.
Not so with Proposition 1. There will only be a few thousand voters deciding this matter and we’re not talking ideologies here, we will either create a new community asset or not. While it is advisory only, a no vote would almost certainly kill the concept for decades to come. Savvy elected officials and prudent YMCA Directors can be expected to heed the will of the voters -- and also typically have long memories making them hesitant to support failed initiatives in the future.
Conversely, voting YES represents a remarkable individual investment opportunity for residents to enjoy for generations to come….as no new taxes will be levied to pay for operations, maintenance or construction costs. Individuals who either oppose the proposal or would prefer not to use the facility will pay nothing. And the city’s investment cost will be covered in total by funds already in the more than healthy reserve fund balance.
Life-Cycle cost analyses for projects like this demonstrate that construction costs (around $25 million for the city) generally amount to only 10% of the total cost over the life of the facility, whereas 90% of the total costs invested (covered by the YMCA) are associated with the far more costly annual maintenance and operational costs.
We simply can’t afford now to erode the progress of the past, nor compromise the promise of the future -- by shortchanging the present. In practical terms, this advisory vote represents a rare and wonderful one-time opportunity for us to help Sammamish become one of the safest, most vibrant and economically healthy cities in the state. Let us seize the moment and capitalize on this exceptional investment. Vote YES on Proposition 1
Steve Thompson, Sammamish