Letters to the Editor

Elected Land Bank Commission wouldn't have any more authority than the existing appointed one

It makes no sense that after 20 years of functioning at least as well if not better than any other county committee, with the public interest foremost in decision making and with total transparency, Rich Peterson now wants to make the Land Bank Commission elected.

This body has always included a broad spectrum of the community across all the islands, with representatives from the legal, real estate, financial services and land management professions, among others. Anyone who has ever attended a commission meeting has seen this group function with an open mind to all community suggestions and use a decision-making process based on reason with the communities' and islands' best interest foremost.

The idea of turning the commission into an elected body could not possibly do anything but harm, further injecting politics into the process and increasing costs to the public. Even if the council followed this course, they would still have to approve the Land Bank budget and accept deeds under the state enabling legislation. In other words, an elected Land Bank Commission wouldn't have any more authority than the existing appointed one.

The idea that Council member Peterson wants to punt decisions about conserving land for public use and enjoyment is bewildering and without logic. If he isn't brave enough to participate in one of the most successful programs the county has to offer, I wonder how he can possibly make decisions on more controversial issues.

Joseph Franetic
Friday Harbor

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