Control essential services locally
October 29, 2008 · 11:02 AM
There are two compelling reasons that we’ll vote YES to establish a Whidbey Public Utility District.
This is a privatization issue. There’s a public outcry across the USA from citizens attempting to regain control of their essential infrastructure services, like water systems, from large for-profit corporations. Isn’t electricity also an essential service like water? Wouldn’t electrical power be better kept out of the hands of such corporations and in the public domain? We have an opportunity here to locally reclaim an essential utility from private interests and prioritize public needs rather than corporate profit.
Our PUD commissioners will earn no salary until a completed feasibility study supports moving ahead and our PUD begins to produce power in two or three years, and then their salaries are capped at $30,000! By continuing the service of the current PSE, our dollars are supporting the basic six-figure salary of Bart Valdman, who has come to some of the forums to plea PSE’s case, and the high salaries of others, as well as supporting the stockholders of PSE. I’d prefer that my support go toward new jobs on Whidbey Island and toward guaranteeing that our electricity rates are kept in check.
There’s very little risk in supporting this initiative, less than $5 per year for a $300,000 home to get a feasibility study. Getting the right to do a feasibility study is a large part of what this vote is about. Only after the public votes YES to create a PUD can a feasibility study actually be conducted. If the newly elected PUD commissioners’ research deems it feasible to go forward, we can then gain local control and a boost to our local community.
Ginny Kuehn, Clinton
Judith Gorman, Langley