No takers for 'statement' against Prop. 1

By Steve Wehrly/Journal reporter

Is anybody opposed to Proposition 1?

The online-only voters pamphlet for the primary election is on the county website, You won't be receiving a printed voters guide.

The guide for the Aug. 7, 2012, primary election lists candidates for federal, statewide, legislative, judicial and local elections. The County Council candidates do not appear on the primary election ballot because state law provides that only when more than two candidates file for a local non-partisan office will a primary election be held.

The guide also contains information about voter propositions, such as Proposition 1, which would increase the sales-and-use tax in San Juan County from 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent.

The tax increase, approved for the ballot by a unanimous County Council, is dedicated to funding criminal justice and public safety programs, and the revenue would be divided 60 percent for the county and 40 percent for the town.

As usual, the guide provides space for written statements by citizens supporting and opposing Prop. 1, the only proposition on the local primary ballot. Except this year, nobody volunteered to write a statement in opposition, despite efforts by Auditor Milene Henley to recruit an opposing viewpoint.

The May 28 deadline for submitting a Prop. 1 "con" statement came and went without any takers.

Former sheriff Bill Cumming and San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou, along with Orcas resident Steve Henigson, prepared the "Argument For" the tax increase. Their statement points out that county budgets are under severe funding pressure at the present time, that criminal justice and public safety programs are high-priority budget items and that receipts from the tax increase will leave other funds available for other town and county priorities.



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