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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Time to let Futures become past
As a constituent in District 1, I’m writing to let my voice be heard about the Conservation Futures Fund issue.
I have thought long and hard about whether I am for or against Island County government providing any sort of funding to the fund. On the one hand, I really enjoy going to Double Bluff, taking my dog and walking the beach. I appreciate that to one side of the parking lot — to the north — I’m allowed to access the beach area but to the opposite side — to the south — it is private property and restricted to property owners’ use only. I also enjoy several other Whidbey Camano Land Trust sites. But in contemplating the issue of whether my county government should provide funds for securing and maintaining these lands, I’m persuaded that it is not the right thing for the county to do.
Am I right in thinking that the lands under the fund’s umbrella are exempt from paying property taxes? If so, we, as the taxpayers, are already supporting the function financially. Further, isn’t the county government’s role limited to provide certain services, such as public safety, roads, and health? When the local government goes outside of those services they step outside of their charter and dilute the taxpayer dollars available to support those necessary functions. I believe the necessary functions of this county government are not being met and therefore you should not extend funds to an unnecessary function.
A recent example: just this week while at Freeland Park walking my dog around the boat ramp and playground area, I observed that the large trash cans were no longer there. In addition, the doggie-dump trash bin, secured to the post with the doggie bags, was overflowing and trash of all kinds — not just doggie bags containing poop — was lying all around the park. It was a mess. I picked up all the trash, as have my husband and I several other times. Shouldn’t these areas already under county control be maintained to a certain level of service supporting the health and enjoyment of residents?
Please stop funding the Conservation Futures Fund.