Fife City Council – Not Easy Being GREEDY!

I believe most people are honest working people.  Many work hard for their money.  They do their 9 to 5 jobs and come home to family or friends for a few hours then it’s back to work in the morning.  We are a nation that “lives to work”.  Very few have the luxury of enjoying the benefits of their labor and gets to actually just “live”.  It’s a nation of people who grind it out.  Our minds are filled with numbers, math, money, bills, and creditors.  With that being said, let me introduce you to the armpit of the Northwest – Fife Washington.  The people seem as nice as every other city, however, the council and police officers are working hard to get every drop of money they can out of you.

The speed traps in Fife are arguably the worst in the nation.  Only a few mph over the limit of 25 and you’ll experience the Officer friendly on the side of the road.  I have discussed this topic with many people and you just mention the word “Fife” and the conversation automatically goes to the hatred of the City, Policies, and stringent traffic laws.  If they live here they hate it.  Visitors hate it also and many would never live here for the that reason.  In fact, many avoid it and simply go around.  Can’t blame them for that.  The policies of this small town make it bad place to live or even visit by many.

Fife Washington has approximately 9,200 residents.  The red light cameras are shameful.  They alone last year generated 2.9 million gross blood money revenue for the City Of Fife.   I’m not writing this out of anger nor have I ever been ticketed in Fife (or anywhere), however, this is a clear example of a City just abusing it’s powers.  It certainly doesn’t make me want to visit.  I will be the first to admit that I have ran a few orange lights in my time.  It wasn’t because I was in a hurry or felt I could get away with it.  In realty slamming on the breaks half way would not only put me in more danger but others also.  Should I get a ticket for $130 in the mail for that?  I have heard many are getting several PER DAY.  There are several mysterious “rules” the red light cameras follow also.  For example if you are making a right turn, stop at the red light, then make your right turn (as you would normally/legally once clear) you can still get ticketed.  It depends where you stopped exactly.  It must be behind the white line.  If you stopped after the white line, the camera will get you.

When Fife started their red light camera program the Fife City Council voted to only use the extra blood money revenue for public safety.  It wouldn’t be used to support general fund expenses. However, last Tuesday they voted to do just that.  They will use the revenue to pay for a officer on duty.  The Fife City Council approved it by majority.  One Council Member voted no saying its a slippery slope from here.  He is obviously correct on that because this is how greed starts and how Cities spend money foolishly.  They get dependent on it.  The Mayor of Fife, Rob Cerqui, said it was a “minor tweak” and was consistent with safety.  I guess paying your officers because the money isn’t available in the general fund is now a safety issue.  Next thing you know they’ll be getting new police cars, fancy fire trucks, more cameras, safety inspectors, crosswalk flaggers, street toll to check for DUI’s…. look I can make things up just like you can.  Get serious and admit you pulled a fast one on the public.  This money should goes to schools.  More specifically it should go to Teachers (not management) and student supplies.

Here is the bigger problem with Fife Washington and their greedy Council / Policies and that is the fact that the city’s sales tax revenue is down 50%.   It was $8 million 6 years ago and it’s approximately $4.5 million this year.  They of course blame it on the recession.  The facts are people don’t like coming here because of the GREED.  The excuse of the recession is garbage.  In 4 more years they’ll still be “hoping” for change.  It’s all down hill from here folks for this city and why anyone would even visit this city is beyond me.  It makes absolutely no sense at all.  There is nothing extra special about Fife that the other surrounding cities can’t provide (with less cameras and risk).

Before making excuses about why your sales tax revenue is down or continues to go down each year Fife City Council, you may want to look at yourself and try to fix a few things.  If not, you’ll find out everyone has moved, doesn’t visit anymore, and you’re all alone with just your greedy policies and fancy cameras.  The buck stops with you.

**UPDATE 3/29/16 – User submitted feedback

Fife Red Lights – A few years ago I spoke to the City Manager in Fife because of how tickets are given for red lights in that city. My mom and I had stopped for a red light and I’d gotten a ticket because apparently in Fife you have to stop completely behind the white line or a ticket will follow. The City Manager had one of the police officers he said he “trusted” look at my video and the officer verified that I should have gotten a ticket. Several friends and family looked at my video and said there was no way I’d run the light. Since then I’ve spoken to several people who won’t do business in Fife anymore because of how many tickets they’ve gotten there for running red lights. One couple used to go to a restaurant in Fife every Sunday until they got so many red light tickets that they started eating elsewhere. They swear that they did not run the lights. Last night at Bible study I spoke to a woman whose son-in-law went to court last week for a red light ticket in Fife. The family had all seen his video and said, like me, there was no way he ran the red light. His fine was reduced in court but they said they had reviewed his video also and that he had run the red light. It’s absurd. I was also told last night of a man from California who had pulled off the freeway in Fife and had gotten a red light ticket there also. He was so angry he wrote to a local Tacoma newspaper when he got home from his trip to warn other travelers of the danger of driving in Fife. I’ve spoken to many people since I got my ticket who have my story. They are as frustrated as I am and stay away from Fife as much as possible, as I do. I know that businesses in Fife have lost customers because of the city’s red light policy (I do mean stop lights). If they don’t know about the problem they should be made aware. Something is wrong there. Police policies need to be reviewed. In Fife’s Traffic Division quote online it says, “There is a common misconception that writing tickets generates revenue for the police department. This is not the case. The actual purpose is to educate, and enforce for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians.” The truth is that they are just plain greedy. The city needs to welcome shoppers with open arms instead of chasing them away. This is my second letter of complaint about the city. If more people would complain we might make some headway in stopping this nonsense.
– D.W

Having lived in the Pacific Northwest his entire life, Jeff understands and delivers a different perspective about politics. Even though many may disagree with his language and writing style, you can't debate his passion for the Seattle area and his committment to a better society.

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