Thanks to former Island County Commissioners John Dean and Angie Homola, and current Commissioner Helen Price-Johnson, Whidbey and Camano Island residents have a new taxing district designed to spend more of YOUR tax dollars on environmental programs instead of finding a solution to adequately fund a mandated program called Law and Justice.

Many residents may recall the flawed Prop 1 which was shot down by voters on August 17, 2010.

Island County Commissioners John Dean, Angie Homola, and Helen Price-Johnson quickly responded in kind with a special Christmas present called the Clean Water Utility District. This new taxing district is used to fund a total of ten programs. Nine of these programs are environmental programs like Salmon Recovery and Shell Fish Protection yet what many residents don’t know is 13% or $37,700 of the Clean Water Utility tax revenue of $290,000 is earmarked for On-site Septic System Police. That $37,700 by the way, is due to increase in 2014 to $117,000 or 13% of $900,000 the total revenue. The goal of the Septic System Police is “to ensure that septic systems are constructed and maintained properly, with follow-up on complaints and failures.”

Did you know that from 2009 to 2011 only two failures were discovered during the actual inspection process, and fifteen were discovered by the complaint process?

Did you know that an Island County resident could be assessed a $25 per day “administrative penalty” for failing to report or inspect their septic systems? Did you know that a $250 per day “administrative penalty” for those residents who fail to correct a failing or problem on-site septic system?  Imagine the Septic System Police, aka “administrative bureaucrat,” ticketing you for failure to file your required septic system inspection report. Keep in mind that this is no ordinary “ticket” like a speeding ticket but a “ticket” that racks up $25 per day!

Don’t forget those folks that are FORCED to pay hundreds of dollars to hire a “professional” to inspect on an annual basis. Should you have an issue with your septic system, large or small, don’t forget to add additional money to cover the cost of a repair permit of $417 for those having a standard system or $572 to repair an alternative system to your overall repair bill.  When it comes to Island County government they sure know how to stick it to their constituents six ways to Sunday!

When researching this subject a recent quote from Carol Dawes, a woman who advocates mandatory curbside recycling, came to mind, “I’m willing to pay whatever I need to pay in order to take care of this planet and this county.” This same theme is evident in the mandatory septic system inspection program, and you can thank Helen Price-Johnson, Angie Homola, and John Dean for providing us with Septic System Police to protect the environment instead of providing more Island County Sheriffs.