Letters to the Editor

Prop. 1: an unfortunate remedy against poor public policy | Letters

I would like to agree with the unnecessary necessity for increasing sales taxes to fund law enforcement.

It is liberal theology that unemployment, lack of opportunity and poverty lead to social dysfunction, crime, family violence and addiction. Thus it is no surprise that lack of work for our young men in construction places pressure upon our criminal justice system.

The decay in our social environment is to an increasing extent self-inflicted.

The County Council is in the process of imposing regulations that will devastate one of the two principal employers, the building industry. The council is not commissioning any studies on the economic impact of these regulations upon our community.

The members of the council unapologetically acknowledge this fact. They are explicitly not balancing human interests with those of the environment.

When construction is booming, unemployment is low and the county’s tax receipts from the construction trade are significant. A slowdown thus has a double whammy on the county’s budget: it reduces tax revenues and increases demands upon the criminal justice system.

Reduced tax receipts and family dysfunction—family violence, meth addiction and juvenile problems—will be the inevitable result of the new CAO regulations. So will be the pressure to find new revenue sources to replace declining tax receipts from construction. County residents have already experienced an increase in property taxes, higher assessments for the public library, higher assessments for school maintenance, and now higher sales taxes. The council tried a parcel fee for solid waste disposal. What’s next?

With no employment opportunities for our young men, we will need more courts, juvenile justice, victims’ services, police and social workers—all to defend our island paradise.

It would of course be more fiscally sound and more humane to replace our county council, but that option is not on this ballot.

Robert deGavre/San Juan Island

 

 

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