Letter to the Editor for Dec. 3, 2013

Shoemaker clarifies his views

The Columbian newspaper misrepresented my views in its Nov. 27 article about East County social services operated by the Children’s Home Society (CHS).

My position is nothing new. Nor, as the article suggests, is it based primarily on objections to abortion referrals.

I have consistently advocated eliminating cash subsidies to CHS and other private entities in budget discussions for four years. I do not advocate eliminating other, in-kind subsidies that the city provides to CHS.

The State of Washington established the city to provide basic municipal services (like public safety, water and sewer, roads and streets, parks, etc.), that did not include social services.

To perform these services, the state provided a tax base adequate to support our mission. The tax base to support social services, however, went to the county and state because they have that mission.

Using city funds to subsidize social service activities makes them unavailable for other city needs. The last four years have brought a number of these needs into sharp focus because of falling revenues.

For further details on my position and the reasons for it, please go to my website at www.dave-shoemaker.com/news and see the first posting on Nov. 28.

Dave Shoemaker, Washougal City Councilman

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