Mount Vernon, WA - 12/25/01 - The initiatives I-695 and I-747
have put a damper on future increases in county spending. The
voters finally realized the only way to control runaway spending
is to shut off the supply line. The last commissioners greatly
expanded county government and services giving top bureaucrats
exorbitant salaries. Money was no problem they just raised taxes
every year. Now we are left with a bloated government and a
voter-imposed dried-up well.
The county commissioners realize the gravity of the situation.
We need to drastically reduce spending and roll back every
nonessential service and trim county employment. It isnít the
time to be giving large pay raises to elected officials while many
are now faced with layoffs and possible hard times ahead. This
process needs changing now. A charter system would allow
initiatives and referendums and allow us to set the rules
pertaining to pay raises.
The Growth Management Act has seriously affected county
finances. The towns have hoggishly gobbled up the prime tax base
that being the outlying commercial land whose taxes once went into
the county coffers. The Growth Board has prevented almost all
rural growth while the urban centers have become boomtowns. The
county needs to increase the rural tax base and the only way it
can is to allow more residential growth or the towns need to ante
up funds to help county services. It is time to allow rural areas
that already exhibit more intensive growth to expand.
Charles Spink, Mount Vernon