Vote no increase in road levy | Letter

San Juan County Road Department has not had a levy increase in a long time and the Road budget is suffering. San Juan County has many needed projects; marine facility improvements, pedestrian trails and pathways, bike paths, culvert replacement and they need to set aside funds for emergency management needs.

Unfortunately, the 2022 Road Levy Lid Lift Proposal submitted by the County Council is poorly structured and their Fact Sheet is misleading. The proposal should be rejected by the voters.

The change to the road levy rate is permanent. The information presented by the county does not provide details as to how the additional funds will be used. It is a blank check lacking accountability and if approved by the citizens is difficult to change.

The County Council claims that the extra revenue generated would be approximately $4 million. This assumed no increase in assessed property values. Based on information received from the County Assessor, with the 28% increase in assessed values, the new road district levy would be $11,673,912, an increase of $6.5 million or 62% more than their estimate.

In today’s inflationary conditions, increasing funds available to maintain and improve our roads is appropriate. It should be done through a well-thought-out proposal, not the one currently offered by the County Council. We recommend voting NO on the current measure and ask the Council to put together a new proposal that corrects the deficiencies noted and present it to the voters in a future election. We encourage the council to initiate a more robust public outreach process as part of the development of a new proposal.

Former San Juan County Council Members

Richard Fralick, Orcas Island

Rick Hughes, Orcas Island

Patty Miller, Orcas Island