Letters to the Editor

Builders say power to PSE

The Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA) has never promoted more governmental oversight or intrusion into private business or our lives. Creation of an electrical PUD would give government control of these utilities that would be regulated without oversight other than the three elected PUD commissioners, as is the case with the PUD in Skagit County that governs water.

The people give these commissioners the authority to invest in general revenue bonds and raise property taxes as much as 45 cents per $1,000 of value without public approval. They set rates per kilowatt-hour and costs for connecting new service without approval or any oversight by anyone other than the voter when it comes time for election.

With PSE, there are checks and balances to preclude having increased taxes or increased rates without considerable scrutiny from the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We are voting on whether to keep PSE or to establish a PUD and either way, PSE will continue and be governed as it is today.

There are many questions that need addressing before the general public is asked to vote for something that could monetarily affect them. Giving more time for research to obtain all the facts is something we need before making a decision on something as important as this. 

SICBA supports Puget Sound Energy as purveyor of electricity in both Skagit and Island counties. We currently enjoy stability in prices for new service based on UTC and FERC oversight. This gives us predictability when planning affordable housing for our citizens.

We are your neighbors and community leaders, providing education and support for building industry professionals. We promote jobs for local people, encouraging homeownership and sustainable growth in Skagit and Island counties.

Scott Yonkman

SICBA president

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