TACOMA PUBLIC UTILITIES
Fact #1. In 1997, Will Baker testified in front of both the Tacoma City Council and the Tacoma Public Utilities Board against using ratepayer/taxpayer money to build a citywide fiber optic system that was to pay for itself by "profits" from a cable television station that would compete with private cable tv companies.
Fact #2. The Tacoma City Council responded to Will Baker's testimony by bringing in a pair of police officers (Terry Krause and Keith Baker) to follow Will around at City Council meetings.
Fact #3. The Tacoma City Council went ahead and voted to spend ratepayer/taxpayer money to invest in their newest get rich quick scheme (Click! cable tv) anyway.
Fact #4. Since the members of the Tacoma Public Utilities board are all appointed by the City Council, the TPU board unanimously rubber stamped the decision to build the Click! tv.
Fact #5. Less than nine months after the City Council and the TPU board voted to "invest" ratepayer/taxpayer money to build a citywide fiber optic sytem that the City Council siad would pay for itself through cable tv profits, TPU announced that the project was already millions of dollars over budget.
Fact #6. In less than ten years time, the fiber optic network was becoming obsolete with the advent of wireless technology.
THE CONVENTION CENTER
Fact #7. Will Baker publicly testified against using taxpayer dollars against building the convention center on the grounds that there were so many convention centers around Washington State that it was highly unlikely that this get rich quick scheme would break even let alone show a profit. (It hasn't and it is pretty clear that it probably never will.)
THE COLLECTION OF MUSEUMS
Fact #8. Will Baker publicly spoke out against spending taxpayer money on building more museums downtown.
Fact #9. Will Baker has consistently stated for over 15 years that roads and sidewalks and basic infrastucture are basic responsibilities that should be funded out of the City's main general fund first and that museums and convention centers are extras that should be funded second only with any money that might be left over.
Fact #10. Will Baker stated that it would be better to spend the money on fixing Tacoma's roads and maintaing the City's infrastucture instead of "investing" public money in this get rich quick scheme. (The publicly stated idea was that by building a bunch of museums downtown, a flood of people would come to Tacoma and fill up the downtown hotels and spend a bunch of money which would translate into more tax dollars being collected by the City.)
Fact #11. Will Baker personally wrote the statement in the Voters Pamphlet against the 2001 bond issue to spend public money on the increasing number of museums downtown. (Will successfully defeated all four of the May' 2001 bond proposals on the ballot.)
INDEPENDENT PERFORMANCE AUDITS
Fact #12. Will Baker has consistently for more than 15 years publicly called for the City of Tacoma to conduct independent performance audits on a regular schedule on all the City's departments.
QUESTION: Would the City of Tacoma be in the financial situation it is currently in if Will Baker's financial ideas had been implemented?
QUESTION: IS WILL BAKER GOING TO RUN FOR MAYOR OF TACOMA IN 2013?
ANSWER: DEFINATELY MAYBE!