Laurelhurst Community Club
Councilmember Jan Drago, Chair
Finance, Budget and Economic Development Committee
Seattle City Council
11 Floor, Municipal Building
600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle Washington, 98104-1876
RE: Funding for the Elections Functions of the Ethics and Elections Commission
Dear Councilmember Drago and Other City Councilmembers,
The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees has a long history of support for adequate funding for the Ethics and Elections Commission. We have recently learned of a proposal to streamline or eliminate funding for the elections functions of the Ethics and Election Office. We oppose this proposal and urge you to reject this funding cut.
We understand the challenges you face with the current budget shortfall. The Ethics and Elections Commission, however, operates on a minimal budget. The return to taxpayers is great in terms of promoting public confidence in the political process and an informed electorate. Eliminating funding in this area would basically mean that there would be no office to audit and monitor compliance with campaign finance requirements. Neither the County nor the State Public Disclosure Commission has the resources necessary to undertake this governmental responsibility. The documentation we have reviewed regarding production of the voters pamphlet indicates that the cost to the City would more than double if the County assumed production responsibilities and billed the City for its prorata share.
The Laurelhurst Community Club endorses the comments submitted by the Seattle Community Council Federation on this budget issue. We urge you to reject any proposed cuts to the Ethics and Elections Commission. We hope you will consider our views on this important budget issue.
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
525-5135 / fax 525-9631