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Letters from May 26, 2007
Book sale a success
The Tracyton Community Library would like to thank all the volunteers and businesses that helped make our recent book sale a success.
Pages Books for their donations throughout the years, Pacific Fabrics for the use of their sidewalk and storage space, DR. Ness Chiropractor Clinic for the use of the sign, the newspapers for getting the word to the public and all the bulletin boards and store front windows.
Without the many volunteers to transport and sell books we wouldnt be able to have this fund raising opportunity. Thank you so much.
Pocketbook is heavier each year
The county reports they will, again, be in the red if they dont make cuts. Revenue increases 4 percent each year and 5.5 percent more is spent each year over and above the increase.
The county points at the citizens lamenting its our fault due to I-747. The real problem is county commissioners who continue to spend, spend, spend!
Start by canceling the contract with the consultant they hired to tell them to prioritize essential services ... we have many experienced people who will give them this advice free! Plus paid budget staff!
The county points their finger at the tax exempt federal lands yet they have used our tax dollars to purchase about 1,500 acres of land in SK, CK and NK and removed it from the property tax rolls there by reducing the revenue to the county.
Review the general administration (read commissioners) and operations budget that is loaded with consultant contracts the electeds should/could be doing themselves.
Eliminate duplication of staffing and record keeping. Accounting functions should be done by the auditors office. Staff positions shared between departments when work loads vary.
Leadership starts at the top. The county created this problem. Let them make the cuts to solve it.
Port of Bremerton
Taxation without representation
I, like many others, was a bit concerned when I received my tax bill for 2007. I knew that I had voted to support my fire service and school district so I expected a tax increase for those jurisdictions. Unfortunately, my Port District which did not bother to ask me, increased my taxes substantially. That did come as a bit of a surprise. But the surprise did not end there.
Like most taxpayers, my immediate reaction to the Port District tax increase was to check to see who I had voted into office that would do such a thing to me. Obviously the battle cry of Vote the Bum Out was ringing strong. So out came the voter registration card. Then came the big surprise. Even though I was paying taxes to Bremerton Port District, I was not a voter in that district. Instead, I was a voter in the Silverdale Port District. How could this be, I asked myself? With all of the wiz-bang, hi-tech stuff our county government has invested in over the past several years, how could such an error occur? (Obviously I was hoping that I was being taxed in the wrong district).
A quick trip to the Elections Office (not so quick from Silverdale) was in order. Once at the elections office the staff members were very helpful and the error was corrected quickly. I really am a voter in Bremerton Port District. It seems the error had to do with the way voters are assigned to the different districts and the vagaries of house numbering. In simple terms, if you are along or near a district border and you live on other than a straight street or immediately adjacent to the street, the system may not recognize you correctly. My misfortune is to live on a street with curves off a main road with many curves. I found it interesting that the Assessor had no problem pinning down where I lived but that the Auditor had a different system that could not quite get it right.
After finding the error in my registration, I had an opportunity to talk to a couple of other people who live in my area. Surprise, surprise; it seems that their registration listing may also be in error. The moral of this story is that, although our nation was created by a revolution against taxation without representation, our elected officials, relying on technology, have found a way to include that practice back into our voting process. The lesson for all is simple. Review your voter registration card carefully and then, as Ronald Reagan said, Trust, But Verify.