The Band-Aid approach won't work anymore. There comes a time in the life of a building when repairs and modifications and improvising stop being cost-effective.
The 89-year-old Kent Safety Building is at that point -- and has been for a number of years. The time has come to replace the building. Pouring money into an aging and dilapidated building only delays the inevitable. Eventually, it comes to the point where it costs more to continually repair than it does to rebuild.
A temporary earned- income tax increase is a smart way to pay for a new safety building. Revenues generated from the income tax increase provide a steady and reliable stream of funds with which to pay back the bonds purchased to construct the building. Without a reliable funding source, the risk of default rises as does the potential for having to cut city services to free money to pay for the construction bonds.
It is important to note, however, that the income tax increase is not a blank check without an end. The money spent on the new building is an investment.
Sure, there are costs involved for Kent wage earners, but the benefits to the citizens of Kent can be significant when limited funds are invested wisely to ensure that the city remains strong and a safe place to live and work.
A "Yes" vote on Issue 4 allows the citizens of Kent to do just that.
Audrey Cielinski Kessler, Kent