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Invest in the heart of the community
by Patrick Branco


June 04, 2004

Let's be clear about one fact first - I am no friend of tax increases. Now that I have made that statement, I want to advocate for the full funding of non-profits in our community. There is one critical flaw in Mr. Warner's comments and that is the fact that when large groups of "special interests" stand up and speak, they are speaking for our community. They are voters and represent the wishes of the people. They have such deep convictions in what they believe that they take the time to tell our elected officials in person. In addition, they have stated loudly that they are willing to pay for the benefits that come with living in a great community like Ketchikan. These programs they advocate would not exist without the help offered by Assembly. As an employer in this community it is critical that we offer a breadth and depth of services, programs, cultural activities, and recreational in order to attract new employees and their families to this community.

When we eliminate programs, we eliminate the spirit, and when we eliminate the spirit we lose the parts of Ketchikan that make this an attractive place to live. It's like eliminating the rain!

Not everyone in the community uses every one of the services or activities embodied by the non-profits but many people take advantage of some.

It is my personal opinion that you cannot cut your way to prosperity. You must invest in the heart of the community. Business will prosper, we will attract new residents and businesses, and we will provide a community in which young and old have activities and programs that enrich the lives of all of us directly or indirectly.

I, for one, am willing to pay for the privilege of living in this community. Mr. Landis and the rest of the Assembly have my support to increase my property taxes as a direct payment for the services I enjoy.

Thank you!

Patrick Branco
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

Open Letter: Borough Budget and Taxes by Robert D. Warner - Ketchikan, AK




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