I wanted to comment about the Oct. 13 Sound Off article in the South Whidbey Record written by Island County Commissioner Kelley Emerson. This article pushed me over the edge and I’m going to lump other Republicans into my response.
It’s a philosophical thing. These are Republican/tea party politicians with a very myopic vision of what government is.
Commissioner Emerson addresses tax and fee hikes taking particular exception to the Conservation Futures Fund as a burden to taxpayers and wants to see them cut. I, for one, am glad that I live in a county that has its eyes on the future and the last thing I want to see is unfettered development of some of our natural treasures. Protecting them is a good thing, in my opinion.
These are resources that make Island County a very desirable place to live. Kelly Emerson and Jeff Lauderdale are also on record as being against the Clean Water Utility fee. Of course they are — it’s a fee for the good of the public.
Emerson also spoke of the importance of “stabilizing our economy” and said that the planning director should provide the commissioners “… with a list of regulations/ordinances where we could cut down some red tape.” I am all for economies of effort in government but what I take issue with is Commissioner Emerson getting all puffed up over some fees/regulations that actually do good things for the people of Island County like conserving valuable natural areas and working on overseeing water quality.
This feigned concern over the budget flies in the face of reality. This is the same commissioner who filed suit against Island County because of the illegal work being done on her home by her and her husband. The lawsuit was ruled “frivolous” by the court. This lawsuit cost the taxpayers of Island County $50,000 in legal fees so far, not to mention the time lost for the planning department to defend itself. Commissioner Emerson has not seen fit to pay the fines she owes and move on as I would think a typical law and order Republican would. Emerson’s lawyer Stephen Pidgeon has no intention of paying the fines levied against him for bringing a frivolous lawsuit on her behalf. Emerson is part of the budget problem, not a solution.
All this brings me to my point. Republicans are all about tort reform and stopping frivolous lawsuits, unless of course, it’s one of their lawsuits. Emerson lost and now demonstrates the attitude of “let them sue us for the fines, they’re having a hard enough time with revenue anyway so the County will just give up and cut their losses.” I would also like to mention that Jeff Lauderdale has said, “if an entrepreneur has a good idea and the money then I say get out of his way.”
I would like to know who would determine what ideas are good? Is it just the money to do it that makes it a good idea, Jeff? Jill Johnson has said that she wants to bring balance to the Island County Commission. Jill Johnson is a Republican and if you think that balance will be achieved by electing her or Lauderdale then I have a bridge to sell you, cash only, and it’s a good idea, trust me. I’m voting for Homola and Price Johnson because we need to minimize the damage that will be done to Island County by these Republicans.