To the editor:
I suggest, rather than laugh or cry, Linda Perkins applaud the port commissioners for their past frugality and praise them for doing what they were charged with when they took their oaths of office.
The reason the people within the district voted to form the district in the first place was to promote the economy within the district by using the means established by the Legislature many years ago. This legislation provides for the ability to collect property taxes in a very limited amount to gather the funds necessary to enhance the local economy and provide jobs.
It is precisely because the commissioners are aware of all of the economic problems in the area Ms. Perkins so completely spells out in her letter, they have been working with the city of Langley officials to take over the responsibility for and improve the marina, which the city did not have the ability to do. City officials are aware the current facility is in need of deferred maintenance and has major environmental issues plus substantial enlargement needs to serve local boaters and become economically feasible.
They also recognize the popularity of the marina for visitors and residents alike and the sales tax revenue it brings to the community that does not come out of our own pockets.
Had the port commissioners exercised their authority over the years since the voters authorized their existence and collected the maximum allowed, we would have been paying far more in property taxes over the years and I believe our tax rate to the port would be higher than what is proposed at this time. Even with the proposed increase, our taxes will still be below average for ports of this size.
The benefits we gain with this proposal will be more than 20 projected new jobs between the marina itself and increased business opportunities, not counting construction jobs; permanent boat moorage for district residents, which users will pay for; greatly improved sales tax and moorage revenues from those “wealthy tourists” Ms. Perkins refers to; a much more pleasing view and consumer-friendly area with an improved Phil Simon Park.
I am glad Ms. Perkins family is “secure and intact,” but the only “self-centered and delusions of grandeur” visible to me are the people that do not “have the compassion” and are not willing to support an extremely viable project benefiting those currently without jobs and the entire community.
John C. Martin