Island County government is competing with many other sources providing products and services in exchange for tax payer’s dollars. Sad, but real facts for those sources of money are that incomes have dropped the most in the past 20 years and money left over after taxes have taken the biggest plunge since 1959

This indicates County Government must obtain citizens agreement that County’s product or services have priority over the competition

County needs to have a clear message proving benefits to citizens and those benefits must solve real problems providing necessary services

The best way to do this can not be to raise taxes and fees again. Instead public pressure will force the Commissioners to eliminate at least the three most irritating programs they created since the rejection of Prop 1; all solving non existent problems, i e,

1. Septic inspection program that later combined with another bogus problem producing the Clean Water Utility District Christmas Present for voters 

2. The 2012 Christmas present of a County wide Recycling ordinance that’s currently being considered for elimination

3. Homola’s gun ordinance now again being considered but not yet approved, Commissioners Jill Johnson and Emerson  stated  at  today’s Commissioners’ meeting  that  final action  on this ordinance  will  be resolved  at their  March 6, Wednesday  work session

By demonstrating those unwanted programs foisted on citizens have been eliminated and those tax dollars and associated other costs no longer exist then, and only then, can new, revenue plans be established but not costing  tax payers more than  those eliminated

This time it must not be “special Interest minorities” getting the Commissioners attention

It’s time we the people demand the Commissioners make a list of ALL programs and then THE Commissioners must rank them according to mandated laws and citizen needs

Too many existing programs were historically justified on somewhat questionable values of Social justice. That also  includes taxpayer  memberships or  attendiing  functions of unnecessary non important groups such as  Sustainable Whidbey Coalition, Puget Sound Waters, and all other similar  organizations. if  a County official or  employee wants  to  be active  in these  groups, they  must  pay for it; not the tax payers

All of those programs must be re-evaluated to make sure  they are cost justified; if not eliminate them

NOT ALL funded programs can be ranked #1, either County wide or within a specific departments but that historically seems to be the way it’s been done contrary to what County officials claim

Eliminating those rated lowest and their associated staff and other expenses would result in significantly improved public creditability & trust in our Commissioners when replacing those taxes, fees, and costs with adequate funds to restore necessary service levels