Dear Lisa Byers;
I too have spent some time reading and viewing videos at the web site of the New Economics Institute. I strongly urge those who are curious to look for themselves at www.neweconomicsinstitute.org.
I think that a citizen concerned about your views is justified in sending an e-mail to friends raising questions. Rather than treat these earnest inquiries as personal attacks, realize that you are running for office and answer the questions, in public, for all voters to see.
Lisa, the enthusiasm you demonstrate for socialist concepts in connecting yourself to organizations like the NEI and those groups listed with them on the NEI web site worries me when you seek to expand your influence from OPAL to the entire county government. You seem to believe that there is little government should not provide for people, and that working people should be taxed more to do so.
For me, and others like me, who have eked out a living in these islands through the years without government help, and for those like me who employ people in good-paying jobs (my company employs 15 to 20, with benefits), you need to explain your philosophy and how it will affect your decisions about free enterprise and private property rights (one of our fundamental civil rights) if you are elected.
Lisa, you also made a huge impression on me a few years ago in a San Juan Initiative technical advisory meeting. When the problem of some properties becoming “unbuildable” under the proposed new regulations, you were very cavalier and said, "Oh well, life's not fair...”
How would you feel if it were your land? Especially if you had earned every penny of the money it took to buy that land. Have you ever bought a piece of property by working and saving for it? If you have, you would gain some valuable insights.
Please stop disparaging those who are asking straightforward questions about your beliefs toward capitalism and free enterprise. And if you believe that we need more restrictive land use regulations like the pending CAO, please be specific about what problems you think exist to justify those rules.
Finally, I am interested to know how you think a career in an enterprise that is heavily dependent on grants and special privileges (waiver of permit fees, preferential processing of building permits) will translate to the county government, which is looking at federal and state grants funds drying up in the ongoing financial crises.
I look forward to your response.
Mike Carlson/San Juan Island