In the Wednesday, Oct. 3 edition of the Whidbey News-Times, it was reported that our county commissioners approved hiring a new planner although “the money the county earns from building fees and land use decisions are budgeted to decline by $69,000.” Yet, those same commissioners came up with $60,000 to enable the Whidbey Camano Land Trust to buy beach and upland acreage on the southwestern edge of the island. That property is accessible only by boat or by crossing private land. This action takes that property off the tax rolls, thus giving the budget a double whammy. In addition, they have increased our property taxes by 1 percent.
Commissioners Angie Homola and Helen Price Johnson don’t seem to understand that spending $60,000 for inaccessible land (thus reducing county income) while there is a decline of $69,000 through “building fees and land use decisions” is fiscally unsound.
Commissioner Kelly Emerson voted against hiring a new planner and the land purchase. She understands that if you don’t have the money, you don’t spend it and hope for the best. We need Jeff Lauderdale and Jill Johnson to help rein in irresponsible fiscal policies.