Don’t let a few make a decision for many on Feb. 11 | In Our Opinion

As of Feb. 5, the Kitsap County Auditor’s Elections Office had received ballots from only 26.86 percent of registered voters.

A few should not be able to make a decision that affects many. Get your ballot in. The election is Feb. 11. Ballots must be postmarked that day. Deadline for putting your ballot into a ballot drop box is Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.

In North Kitsap, ballot drop boxes are located at North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, 26642 Miller Bay Road N.E., Kingston; and at Poulsbo Fire Station, 911 N.E. Liberty Road, Poulsbo.

In North Kitsap, voters will decide two measures: Proposed expansion of the Poulsbo Port District, and renewal of the North Kitsap School District’s maintenance and operations levy.

Port of Poulsbo Proposition 1 asks property owners of Lemolo, Scandia, Virginia Point and parts of Poulsbo up to the city limits whether they want to be part of the port district.

The North Kitsap Herald supports annexation for these reasons:

The port could do more to encourage economic development and creation of more jobs, and that’s good for everybody.

The port could do more to make Liberty Bay a healthier place, and that’s good for everybody. At a recent port forum, a resident said the bay is the healthiest it’s been in a long time. But you can’t harvest shellfish in the bay, creosote pilings at the marina need to be replaced, five derelict vessels have been removed within the last year, and anchor-outs need to be monitored to ensure they are not dumping in the bay.

Residents of the annexation areas should have a say in the day-to-day business of the port, particularly decisions that affect them. As constituents, the port would be directly responsible to them.

At the Jan. 24 forum at City Hall, some residents spoke about port districts’ authority under the law and what port districts “may” do. That scares them. But there are many things government bodies “may” do. What they “do” depends on the desire and will of their constituents.

The levy is 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. We think that’s a good investment for the support to our local economy, environment and public representation that will result.

The Herald also supports renewal of the North Kitsap School District’s maintenance and operations levy.

Revenue from the levy — $2.83 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation — comprises 23 percent of the school district’s budget. Renewal of the levy will maintain programs and services in local schools, and help to pay for teachers and staff, operational costs, technology, programs and curriculum that aren’t fully funded by the State of Washington.

Needless to say, failure to approve this measure would be disastrous to local schools, which have already endured years of reductions in expenses and staffing.

This four-year levy will replace the current levy approved in February 2010. We encourage a vote of approval.

Go to NorthKitsapHerald.com on Election Night for coverage of the election and what it means.


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