McDowell, Bakke mean more sprawl
August 12, 2008 · Updated 5:40 PM
Mac McDowell and Phil Bakke will tell you they have done a great job of keeping taxes lower, but when you look at your utility bill in Oak Harbor, you know differently. The tight knit group of leaders, who want to annex for development, are bankers who sell property and real estate agents who stand to gain financially or are somehow tied to the above.
When the city consumes rural county land for annexation our taxes go up. Island County has the final say in the transfer of county land which is developable at 1 house for every 5 acres, to city land at 4 houses for every one acre.
Bringing utilities from the city out to these newly annexed properties means city dwellers pay for the infrastructure impacts. To top it off, Mac McDowell and his buddies have refused to adopt development impact fees to offset this burden on existing property owners. The city has announced a utility tax increase in the foreseeable future of at least 14 percent to cover storm water infrastructure and a new $2 million-plus water tank.
This is the result of building beyond our means and with environmental abandonment. So the lower taxes jargon is meaningless. As a bonus we get sprawl development, loss of forest and agricultural land, erosion and contaminated run off into Puget Sound and a lack of stable living wage jobs with few affordable homes.
It is time for new leadership. We have a new visionary in Angie Homola, a local architect, who believes in balancing man-made and natural environments, and in effective public notice and participation. Homola is a candidate who has been fighting for the concerns of the public for the past two years and decided enough was enough. Vote for Angie Homola, candidate for Island County Commissioner District 2.
You will be glad you did.
Trudy J. Sundberg