Letters to the Editor
October 10, 2008 · Updated 4:48 PM
The Jewel Box is Poulsbo’s gem
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your Sept. 24 article “Good things, small box.” It is true that live theater is a special addition to the cultural and artistic growth of our community. Even truer is that some of life’s gentle nudges and jarring epiphanies happen in the live theater experience. Oral traditions like the theater have long blended history and humanity, crossing cultural divides to both entertain and create awareness, tolerance and compassion.
In this day of text messaging and e-mail detachment, there is something refreshing and extraordinary about partaking in the magically palpable human connections that occur in live theater.
Our little theater is a jewel — and, too, one of Poulsbo’s gems.
More information would be nice
It has always concerned my wife and I that levy lid-lift ballots in Kitsap County state the new, increased levy rate being requested but do not state the current levy rate. Voters cannot tell from the ballot language how much of a tax increase they are voting for.
According to the Kitsap County Auditor the ballot language is written by the taxing district requesting the increase and approved by the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney.
It is to be expected that the taxing district requesting higher taxes would not want voters to be able to make a direct comparison of old tax rate with the new, higher rate on the ballot — such direct comparison while being helpful to the voters would not be to the taxing district’s favor.
The prosecutor does not make them include the current levy rate because it is not required by law. Such full disclosure is not precluded by law — it is simply not required.
In a recent decision King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick found that “in the interest of transparency, full disclosure and neutrality, the voters should be — must be — fully informed as to the effect of this change and it must be in the ballot ... .”
When this decision was called to the attention of the Kitsap Prosecutor the response was that the King County decision resolved the particular controversy involved in that case and that state law still does not require full disclosure in Kitsap County levy lid-lift measure ballots.
They did say that voters in Kitsap could approach their state legislators and request full disclosure on their ballots or the voters could challenge the legal sufficiency of ballot language in court.
So this is where we are — if you consider full disclosure on a ballot to be fair and want to be fully informed on that ballot, you must either get the law changed or go to court. Our position is that wherever the information on the current levy rate is to be found (tax bills, newspapers, pamphlets) it should also be stated clearly on the ballot we use to vote.
How many voters in Kitsap County want to be fully informed on the ballot when tax increases are being requested?
How many want to see the full effect of the tax increase stated on their ballot?
If you do then please contact your state legislators and tell them that they must provide direction to the Kitsap County Prosecutors Office since that office cannot require full and fair disclosure without being told to do so.
Endorsing Walt Washington
I recently met Walt Washington, the Democratic candidate for Kitsap County Auditor. He impressed me as a man with a clear grasp of the pressing issues facing a diverse and growing Kitsap County population, the dangers of voter suppression, voter disenfranchisement, and the value of fair elections.
Walt is the current interim Kitsap County Auditor. He is uniquely qualified to replace the retired Karen Flynn who was a moderate, effective, evenhanded, and much respected Kitsap County Auditor for many years. As a long time Washington State resident, and having also lived in other parts of the United States, Walt has experienced first hand the adverse polarizing impact of powerful special interests on our nation, our states, and our county. A recent issue of a local newspaper proclaimed, using a screaming front page headline, that Walt had made mistakes on his required PDC (monetary contributors) reporting. To the low-information voter this will be enough to make them vote for his Republican opponent.
The informed voter will have read further and find that these mistakes were of a minor nature, not mistakes at all, or are common to the campaign PDCs of others. I dare say that if Walt’s Republican opponent’s PDC form had been scrubbed, it would not have been immune to nitpicking.
Clifford M. Kincaid