The C is for Crank

Demagoguery of the Day

By Erica C. Barnett October 14, 2011

Crusaders against public safety?

In his complaint against Transportation Choices Coalition and Cascade Bicycle Club---filed earlier this week and summarily dismissed yesterday---car-tab opponent Gene Hoglund claimed that the city has diverted money from police services to promote alternatives to driving.

"It should be noted," Hoglund says at the end of his complaint, "that the city is not funding police because Taxpayer monies go to the Cascade Bicycle Club and Transportation Choices this year."

Leaving aside the fact that the city can't just divert funds from the parks department and Seattle Department of Transportation to police, the funds Hoglund is referring to barely amount to enough to hire a single officer.

Over three years, the city's parks and transportation departments have paid a grand total of about $293,000, or an average of around $97,000 a year. Sword SPD officers start at around $64,000 a year---which, assuming standard benefits, works out to around a $96,000 annual cost to the city---and that's only until they get a raise after serving six months.

Presumably, Hoglund has access to a calculator and SPD's pay scale, so he probably knows his cops-vs.-bikes argument doesn't hold water. But demagoguery sure sounds more convincing when you wrap it in the mantle of public safety.

Hoglund hasn't returned an email seeking comment.
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