Letters to the Editor

Island County commissioners 'aren’t making the hard choices' with budget cuts | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Dean Enell’s assumption that my letter was submitted as a spokesman for the Republican Party is erroneous. I am not a “spokesperson” for the GOP or anyone else, and my letter to the editor wasn’t written as such.

I am, however, the wife of a husband who has been without work for over a year, and a small business owner who is struggling with today’s recession. I am also a taxpayer who is watching my hard-earned tax dollars being spent by tax-and-spend politicians on the federal, state and local levels. Dean’s attempt to tie my letter to the GOP is pathetic.

Enell missed the point of my letter entirely, which wasn’t the missing envelope from the assessor’s office for paying my taxes, but rather that commissioners’ refusal to reform the way they disperse taxpayer dollars.

It’s a fundamental fact that you can’t spend more than you take in, something that seems to escape our commissioners as they push for dollars to help fund the PBY Historical Museum and other “feel-good” endeavors.

Dean is wrong when he stated the WSU Beach Watcher program isn’t funded from the county budget. It, along with 4-H, the Master Gardener Program, the WSU Waste Wise program, etc. are funded from the county budget under the subtitle of “other programs” in the “Transfer Extension Services” section of the budget.

And, just to set the record straight, I support the goals of these programs; but I realize that if I have to cut an employee from the payroll because I am using my dollars to pay for nonessential expenses, then I need to prioritize my expenditures and re-evaluate the dollars available to me, and refocus my spending.

Our commissioners simply aren’t making the hard choices that need to be made. They didn’t in 2009, and they aren’t in 2010.

Any economist will tell you that the last thing you do is raise taxes on individuals, especially in an economy dependent on sales tax. Unemployment remains high, consumer confidence is treading water, credit conditions remain tight for small businesses, and yet our commissioners continue to remove revenue-generating properties from our tax base and implement new fees on Island County residents.

Washington state as a whole, and Island County, have both been dependent on the construction industry for years to supplement budget revenues, and that dependency crosses all political lines.

I have every intention of continuing to explore and exploit reckless spending of tax dollars. I’m also thrilled that the commissioners have assembled an independent team to examine the longer-term directions of the county’s business plan; it once again demonstrates that the commissioners are incapable of assuming their responsibility to make the hard choices, and instead will press the Citizen’s Financial Review Committee to validate the commissioners’ irresponsible and progressive agenda.

As far as the Republican Party being the “out-of-power” party, let’s see who is the “out-of-power” party in 2010 and 2012.

Charlona Sawyer

Greenbank

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