Money talks, city listens

I have been living in Oak Harbor for 34 years and have watched the quality go downhill. The elected officials are more interested in the money in their pockets than what is good for the city or the people.

Look at the annexation of Goldie Road, for example. They are hoping to increase sales and property tax revenues, they don’t care what goes there, they just want the money from it. They don’t care how many restaurants (fast food or not) are in town, they just want the money from them.

It doesn’t matter how long the new development lasts where Copeland used to be, the city officials made money from the sale of the land and the taxes from the buildings. It will become another empty and vacant eyesore that we will have to look at.

What really burns my britches is that they allowed Walgreens to enter our town. First, they couldn’t have put it in a worse spot. The traffic is terrible there enough as is without that. Second, the lot is too small for such a big store. Look at the Anacortes Walgreen’s, the lot is twice as big and it fits the area, good traffic flow and location.

Third, why put another drug store downtown, that’s three drug stores within one mile of each other. Why there and not in the north end of town? Money! Prime lot downtown, lots of money in pocket; to hell with what other people think or the bad location, they get the money from it.

The park problem has been a problem for as long as I can remember. There has never been one decent enough for kids to play in. The city never sets aside enough money to maintain them or keep them clean. As far as the Beeksma park goes, that is there because the Beeksma family “donated” a sum of money to the city for the park. Proves my point that you can buy the officials of this city, because all they care about is the bottom line, money!

Ordinances, what is the point in having them if they are not enforced? Look at the oak tree on Fidalgo Street. The city officials are allowing the tree to be butchered for money, in the name of progress. You as a citizen of Oak Harbor cannot touch an oak tree in town no matter what unless it is diseased, but the officials will allow a developer to “prune” an oak tree for the progression of a building. Why? Money!

Sorry to say it, whether you are new to Oak Harbor or have been here as long as I have (my whole life), the complaint is the same, too much stuff in a too small space. The officials need to concentrate more on the issues of the people and better placement of businesses and less about the money they get in their pocket. Instead of putting another business in a bad location, the officials should put in more things for kids to do in town. But wait, that doesn’t put money in their pocket, businesses do. Think about it, I do, and it saddens me that they do that.

I was born here and I plan on dying here and it makes me sick to see the officials do this to my town for their own greed and not what is really good for the city or the people.

Ken Burdin

Oak Harbor