To Island County Commissioners Jill Johnson and Rick Hannold:
You recently denied Coupeville economic development funds for a park because you were angry that Coupeville opposes the Navy’s plan to expand its operations at the touch-and-go field by 500 percent. You cited the importance of sales tax revenue from the Navy and called Coupeville’s position a “punch in the face.” Additionally, Hannold said that because a Coupeville council person was associated with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, he would be prejudiced against grant applications from that great organization.
I could argue against your position and its merits. Military versus tourist sales tax revenues, for example. Unlike tourists, military families can buy everything from groceries to major appliances tax free at the commissary. Also, even at its current level, the jet noise is annoying. If that were increased five fold, tourist traffic would definitely decrease. Not to mention the long-term loss from decreased property values.
But money isn’t everything. Such a huge increase in jet noise in Coupeville is bound to affect its residents’ well-being physically and emotionally as well as financially. What’s wrong with their trying to protect themselves? You may not agree, but you don’t live there.
But all this arguing of the merits of your case is really beside the point. What’s really important is that you have way overstepped what we want from you. We are Americans first and decided centuries ago that we didn’t want rulers randomly punishing people who displease them. Kings just aren’t our thing. We want elected officials who are rational and fair, and judge each case on its own merits.
If Boeing wanted to run big jets out of Porter Field in Langley and South Whidbey opposed it, would you stop fixing our roads? Come on guys, this ain’t right.