Port did its financial planning poorly
October 22, 2008 · 3:03 PM
Do any of you remember the applause, "attaboys," and superb job congratulations concerning the Coupeville Port District's Comprehensive Plan (2007-2026) adopted May 2007. At that time, I provided the port commissioners with a critique of their preliminary plan. The critique pointed out that the plan was essentially lacking in any specific, long-term financial plans for the port's pier, pier building and the future intent to expand the port's water facilities.
Now, only about a year after this applauded plan was approved, the taxpayers are informed, by way of a proposed 40 percent tax increase, that the plan is obsolete, unrealistic and a waste of taxpayers; money. The port district is essentially bankrupt as expressed by the newly appointed Commissioner Marshal Bronson in the Coupeville Examiner of June 12: "When I first looked at the treasury, there was nothing but an echo. This should have been done (new taxes) five or six years ago!"
Who is responsible for this obsolete plan and management failure? Should this kind of management be accepted as "normal" business for the future?
Not only should personal accountability be determined, but also a new, revised Port District Comprehensive plan should be approved before the taxpayers approve any tax increase. The revised plan should not only address the financial plight of the Greenbank complex, but also the port's water facilities (pier, building, etc.), the primary facilities that originally justified the port's existence.
Approving additional property taxes now is essentially telling the port commissioners to continue to not having a realistic, specific, closely monitored, financial management plan for the port. Approval of the tax increase is also an acknowledgement that accountability and responsibility are not required nor expected in port management.