I want to learn more from Whatcom County’s industries, farms, recreational sites and homeowners in order to ensure that the environment is not degraded by a desire for growth and profit. We need to balance everyones needs, must help industries that are not healthy for the environment change to be more environmentally sound.
I want to learn more about how our budget is used and where we can save money. We can always save money. Waste is everywhere and I will work hard to evaluate where our tax dollars are being wasted and where they would be better utilized.
I intend to advocate for a more equitable approach toward property owners on the part of the county.
The intention of land management is to act in the best interest of the aggregate while simultaneously accommodating private ownership. It’s important for the county to bear in mind that it exists for and is intended to provide service to the individuals of its composition.
For eleven years I lived out in the county on ten acres of mostly wetland. I paid taxes on ten acres of land as though all of it were developable despite the fact that county regulation allowed me to use less than a third. Instead of trying to figure out a way to skirt the rules about wetlands, we chose to work with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and planted 1700 trees and shrubs on the property. We were given a small stipend for rent of the land while we got to enjoy having 1700 new trees and shrubs planted that will enhance the property and make the area more inviting to the local wildlife.
I was fine with the restrictions on the use of my wetlands wanting very much to be a good steward, though it wasn’t at all fair to have been disproportionately taxed. If the land wasn’t allowed to be developed and therefore had less market value, it should have been taxed at a reduced rate.
I certainly sympathize with county homeowners who are sometimes told what they can and can’t do on their own land without fair treatment.
I want to hear from you about what your concerns are.