Our View: One police station, comin’ right up

DKS Editors

Ah, democracy in action. Despite the fact that turnout is usually lower, local elections often bring more change to voters than more popular national races.

It happened Tuesday at the polls when voters in Kent approved to raise their taxes in order to help pay for a new police station.

We think it was the right decision. Actively choosing to give up money is never an easy decision — no matter how miniscule the amount. In this case, it will be a quarter-percent increase on income earned by Kent city residents. But the alternative to paying extra was dire: a cut in services.

We’re glad the majority of voters approached this issue with some sensibility. Not every tax hike is worthy, and it takes a balancing act of sorts. The Kent Police Department’s need for a new facility is obvious in both the number and scope of violations the state finds every year. It’s flat-out embarrassing.

Regardless of whether Issue 4 had failed, the police would have gotten the new $18 million station. But without the extra money billed to residents, officials threatened future cutbacks in fire and safety resources — basic amenities any municipality needs to function. With all the economic development downtown, it would have been a shame to let these services fall by the wayside.

In this result, we see something tangible for what we’re paying.