Letters to the Editor

Bare bones budget adopted

Our Island County Commissioners passed a bare bones budget that is historically austere while struggling to maintain the integrity of our county. For those of us who attended the evening commissioners’ meeting, viewed the graphic presentations, and listened to the public comments, the budget development process was clearly the product of anguish as two commissioners worked long and hard against every adversity the opposition could throw to cripple the process.

Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill was there in defense of saving our juvenile system from being thrown to the dogs by an opposition commissioner. She cited facts and statistics showing how our juvenile system has saved tax money while saving kids from lives of destruction by being far more effective than national averages. It was noted that the infamous case of Colton Harris-Moore was the result of out-of-county treatment that sparked one of the most notorious and costly cases of rebellious immaturity in our time.

Considerable appreciation was indicated by all present that Commissioners Homola and Price Johnson had voluntarily reduced their own salaries in an effort to help the county’s fiscal situation, which to us was in stark contrast to the actions of the highly touted austerity hero, Ronald Reagan. Back in the ‘60s, he hacked and slashed California’s government into chaos while twice giving himself enormous salary raises something to the tune of 30 percent each time along with increased retirement benefits he denied to others, all of which was funded by a whopping 50 percent increase in the state sales tax.

When all the statistics, charts, graphs, presentations, and public comments were done, one of the most appreciative audiences in recent memory in both Coupeville and Camano witnessed the passing votes by Commissioners Angie Homola and Helen Price-Johnson over the incessantly long standing objection of the well funded by out-of-county and  probably out-of-state Tea Party Commissioner Kelly Emerson who even objects to salmon recovery efforts and has been reported to demand removal of car club pride photos posted in a contracted state license office ... something not even in the authorized purview of a county commissioner.

Maybe this Thanksgiving we’ll have something to be thankful for after all.

Al & Barbara Williams

Oak Harbor


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