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9 thoughts on “Port of Manchester IDD: Take the Poll

  1. “If I go down in flames for any decision we have to make, I’m OK with that.”

    I’m sure the commissioner is speaking metaphorically, but… according to reports, the Port’s public input was overwhelmingly AGAINST the imposition of an IDD levy. Ignore that and you take us closer to the day when your metaphor is our reality. And I’m not “OK with that”.

  2. Asked why he did not support an advisory vote for the Port of Manchester’s IDD, Fallstrom said, “It’s too late to do that this year, and cost for a special election would be $15,000, which the port can’t afford.”

    Why didn’t the port commissioners put a “lid lift” proposition on the ballot for November’s election? It could accomplish the same thing regarding a revenue increase, if the voters approved it.

    Why did the commissioners wait to bring the idea of a tax increase up for their decision until it was too late to put any measure on the November ballot?

    To say that the cost of an election makes it impractical to ask the voters to approve increased revenue, one must first conclude that the voters would almost certainly reject the ballot measure if given an opportunity. If one believed that the majority of voters within the port district favored the idea, then the cost of having a measure on the November ballot would not be a problem–the lid lift would provide the small amount to pay the election costs as well as the dollars needed to implement the commissioners’ wishes.

    Is that why the commissioners chose to delay a decision until it was too late to put a measure on the ballot? Did they already figure out that the majority of voters would reject a tax increase?

  3. Bluelight,

    If a commissioner (or any other elected official) believes that what they are doing is in the best interest of the community, even if it isn’t popular, why would you have a problem with them voting their conscience? Isn’t that what you elect them to do?

    I think I am elected to vote using my conscience and intellect. I’m not elected to take a poll and see which way the wind is blowing and vote accordingly.

    My vote in November goes to the candidate whom I think has an intellect and a conscience that is most in sync with my own about the role of government, law, and order. I will not always agree with how they vote on a particular issue. But I refuse to adopt the mentality that my elected officials are elected to always do what the majority of their constituency wants them to do.

    If that were the case, we should change to a true democracy… where everyone votes on every issue requiring a decision. But alas, the United States is a representative republic, where we vest the voting into our elected officials who shouldn’t consider whether it is more popular to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but should consider what is best for the citizenry.

    Then, if the majority aren’t satisfied with how that elected official exercised that vested authority, they can vote him/her out of office.

    I’ve had people tell me that if I don’t vote a certain way, I’ll not get elected again. My response has been pretty consistent… “let those chips fall where they may”. I don’t always agree with Jim Strode, but on this, I agree with him 100%. He is taking responsibility for how he will vote and understands that the chips will fall where they may the next time he is up for election.

    Kathryn Simpson

  4. Kathryn, when voters elect their representatives, are they entitled to rely on what the candidates say prior to the election?

    Read the article for which Chris Henry provided a link in the blog entry:

    Acting in accordance with one’s conscience ordinarily requires that one keep his word.

    So far as I can tell, there is absolutely nothing about the circumstances which would justify changing their minds about imposing a tax increase without voter approval of the increase by the people living within the port district.

    A lid lift approved by the voters could provide exactly the same amount of money over exactly the same period of time. There is nothing that requires them to use the “IDD” tax authority. (At least the Port of Bremerton commissioners could show that the only practical way to get enough money to fund the expanded marina was to use that tax power. Their evasion of the voters’ right to put it on the ballot was inexcusable, but they had a reason for using the IDD tax.)

    When a candidate says one thing while campaigning for election, then does another after being elected, even though nothing has changed to justify the flip-flop, conscience isn’t a word I would use to explain what is done–at least, not in a favorable context.

    The “IDD” tax is designed to fund harbor improvements and industrial development in “marginal land,” but the proposed use is the opposite of economic development. It’s very strange to see people who are apparently intending to prevent economic development by using a tax for the opposite of its purpose.

    The goal of putting a community center and library building on land to be purchased by the port doesn’t even appear to be within the state law’s objectives for a port district. But, if the voters approve a lid lift with that goal in mind, it would seem OK to construe the law’s meaning liberally to allow them to do so.

    What allows the port commissioners to avoid going to the voters for an OK? Not their campaign promises. Not any need to use the IDD rather than a lid lift. Nothing.

  5. What I object to, Kathryn, is the charade of public “input” on a foregone decision. If the input goes they way they want, the politicians trumpet they are following the “will of the people”. If the input doesn’t go the way they want they are “voting their conscience”.

  6. Bob and Bluelight,

    If a politician contradicts themself, I can understand concern. I wasn’t speaking to a person being contrary to their previous statements. I was speaking of how how I want my elected officials to decide how they vote on things.

    As for a ‘charade’ of public input on a foregone decision, I would be rather upset by that (and have been from time to time). But I will also say that sometimes it seems like an elected official is in a “can’t win” situation with some voters. Anything they say is perceived to have selfish motives. Frankly, that is why it seems so easy to me to just do what I think is best… at least if I get pummelled, I’ll get pummelled for being honest. 😉

    Kathryn Simpson

  7. And bullet ONE on the Port of Manchester’s “mission statement”?

    The Port of Manchester is committed to…

    wait for it…

    wait for it…

    wait for it…

    “being responsive to community input”.

  8. Chris, you are referring to the “industrial development district” as a “taxing district.” It is not a taxing district.

    The additional property tax would be levied by the port district, not the industrial development district.
    “(1) A port district having adopted a comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements and industrial developments may thereafter raise revenue, for six years only, and a second six years if the procedures are followed under subsection (2) of this section, in addition to all other revenues now authorized by law, by an annual levy not to exceed forty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value against the assessed valuation of the taxable property in such port district.”

  9. Bob, Blue-What-Ever, and remaining naysayers..

    I think it would be great to buy all the property the Port of Manchester
    considers to put aside for the future of the community – and then sell it all off to foreign investors to build the biggest, tallest, ungainly structures that pee-off the community the most. Then, this ‘Hamlet’ mentality finally gets what the people are howling for. Don’t you think Manchester can squeeze at least four more towering condo’s into it’s commercial district? We need a Dry Cleaners, Gas Station, larger Supermarket… heck, just let them build a Marina while they are at it. Sooo much better than a community center or other features in town that might serve the devout residents of this funky little Hamlet.
    Have a good day. See you at the Port Meeting hopefully. At least
    get involved and speak out rather than cower behind someone else.

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