San Juan County Land Bank Overreach
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Initiative 2020-10 Petition
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In 2011 continued funding for the Real Estate Excise Tax (which is distributed to the Land Bank) passed by just 2.8%. The votes were 4,168 yes to 3,726 no. On San Juan Island it failed 1,565 no to 1,440 yes. Using that tax, the Land Bank has purchased over SIXTY million dollars worth of real property and millions more in easements. The Land Bank has had a 30 year run that’s removed over SIXTY million dollars of property off the tax roles. We think that’s enough.
Land Bank administrative costs (misrepresented in budget) are far too high. They’re spending six figures annually on litigation because they failed to engage in proper research before making acquisitions. They choose to bully citizens rather than work with them. They side step acquisition process requirements, including pre purchase appraisals and management plans with little over site by our commissioners. They no longer represent the interests of citizens. As an example, they eliminate the protection of agricultural land to promote recreation and tourism instead. Transparency is minimal at best. Instead they’ve become a rogue government entity with their own agenda for free wheel spending.
The Land Bank mission statement has morphed from preservation of open space to creation of seed banks, cultivation of wild flowers, supposed protection of water resources, self adopted heritage keeper for the islands and the promotion of tourism. They appeal to any and all with whatever warm and fuzzy slogan that’ll recruit support. It illuminates what the Land Banks real mission has become……….Preservation of the Land Bank!
It’s time to turn it around. We have ‘til July 6th to get 1635 signatures to get it on the November ballot. For all that believe ENOUGH ALREADY with the Land Bank now’s the time. We can do this. Get on the phone. Email this to others and ask them to forward to others. Email me with any questions you may have.
THE PETITION There’s two pages. The 2nd page should be printed on the back side of the 1st page. There’s space for 7 signers on the front page. Each signer must be a San Juan County registered voter. All signatures have to be original. They can’t be stamped, or copied or electronic. Email this to everyone you think could be a signer.
It should be mailed back to me;
3597 San Juan Valley Road
Friday Harbor, WA. 98250