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Annexation is not a win-win

January 31, 2014 · Updated 10:01 AM
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Living outside the Poulsbo city limits but near Liberty Bay, we have been asked to allow the Port of Poulsbo authority to represent us in all matters considering the well-being of the bay by annexation. Also, to pay taxes and have the opportunity to vote in or out the current commissioners for the privilege.

The port is committed to protection of the downtown waterfront, bay and harbor and serves as a steward of the Liberty Bay community, promoting environmental preservation and restoration, improved public access and public spaces.

This sounds like a win, win, right? Probably not.

The port’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan states that ports are in a unique position to be the citizen’s voice in matters of local, state and federal policy. Port districts were specifically created to protect property rights and will not burden citizens with additional regulation.

It seems very disingenuous to make the claim of no additional regulations to the proposed areas of annexation, considering the scope and breadth of the RCWs under which port authorities operate. The port has the authority to acquire property, even by eminent domain, levy and collect assessments, to acquire, construct and operate sewer and water utilities, to form local improvement districts and levy special assessments. These are only a few of the RCWs that would certainly impose additional regulations to the annexed areas if implemented.

We suggest the port has plenty to do for the foreseeable future to build a new sea wall, expand D dock to accommodate larger tour boats and a new seaplane dock, boat ramp refurbishment, breakwater replacement and the possible purchase of the old city hall for development, just to name a few. Please go online to www.portofpoulsbo.com/plan to inform yourself on the scope of the port’s plans and the additional level of regulations that would apply to the annexed areas beyond the county, DNR and shoreline management rules.

Once annexed, there is no opportunity to be “un-annexed.” We all have a huge vested interest in a healthy Liberty Bay and surrounding community. We all must be good stewards of our environment and can do so without another layer of regulations via annexation.

Please vote no.

Tom and Patty Henderson
Scandia

 

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