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County Climate Commissioner is unnecessary | Letter

I do not believe it is an overstatement to say that almost everyone that lives in the San Juan Islands cares very deeply about the health of our environment. Most residents chose to make their lives here in part because of the exceptional natural beauty of this area. Making sure we are protecting and preserving our natural world is a task that certainly falls in part on our county government.

We have an elected County Council perfectly capable of assessing needs, gathering expert information and making policy with the input of the constituents they serve. The Charter Review Commission in their desire to grow government bureaucracy ever bigger and more controlling, has recommended a newly elected position of County Climate Commissioner along with an Office of Climate Policy. The citizens of San Juan County do not need to fund yet another government fiefdom feeding off of the hardworking taxpayers while making unending rules that curtail rights and freedoms.

There has been no demonstration of need to create such a position or department. Outlined need must exist before such extreme action is inflicted upon the County. What exactly would be the duties of this elected official and subsequent government workers hired to support them? How would all of these positions be funded? Is that a wise use of limited resources in our county?

The people of San Juan County work very hard to reside here. Many sacrifice a lot to live their island dream. I cannot begin to understand how this group of islanders tasked with making our county run more smoothly can think that making our government any larger more cumbersome and expensive is good for anyone of us.

Our County Council is responsible for the protection of all that is special in our community including issues of climate and environment. Adding layer upon layer upon layer of bureaucracy serves no one except those with suspect motives.

Lauren Cohen

Friday Harbor