Island County, From The Right Side
Keep abreast of happenings in your local government.

Dueling Economic Theories

To whom it may concern: Emerson's "wetland" report

Emerson - Camano Island - Wetland Identification and Delineation and Stream Reconnaissance Report.pdf (25.8 MB bytes) =>

Stewardship of the Taxpayer's Treasury is Paramount!

There is a lot of truth to the saying, “You win some, and you lose some.” For someone new to public service, I’ve learned a lot in my first ‘semester’ as a freshman on the Island County Commission. In the same token, I feel I’ve contributed substantially to the debate, and am hopeful we’re introducing a healthy dose of fiscal sanity to our county government. Here’s an update on our progress.


First, it’s starting to sink in that our budgets in the next few years may be even harder to balance than they are now. We cannot bank on higher revenues to buoy us from turbulent fiscal tides. Second, with that austere outlook in mind, we are preparing the county to make do with a lot less. Finally, I believe stewardship of the taxpayer’s treasury to be paramount. That’s why I’m fighting to preserve core services – and not to expand them further. I believe we can do all of this, without increasing the tax burden on our families and small businesses.


As one example, we can freeze the Conservations Futures collection, without any effect on current services.  A freeze would halt the growth of county acquisitions of private, taxpaying land. In better economic times, collection can be reinstated, but with a renewed focus on conservation – not making the county into a property baron. As for those funds currently held in Conservation Futures, I say, let’s sit on those eggs a little longer.  Just 3 years ago, the State Legislature allowed some counties to put on the ballot an option to use Conservation Futures for other government services.  If the economy necessitates it, we should take that up for consideration – rather than raising taxes.


Finally, my husband Ken and I are still pursuing legal remedies in controversial actions taken against us by county officials last year. The lawsuit we filed centered on an arbitrary decision to designate some of our backyard a wetland, the timing of which was not coincidentally during the height of my campaign. As it turns out, the licensed hydro geologist we hired assures us there are no such ‘wetlands’ on our property. While our case was dismissed in late May, we may yet be bankrupted by the county’s decision to levy $500 a day fines.  As we decide how to proceed from here, I ask for your continued patience and confidence.  To be sure, we view the actions against us as an assault on the very same property and individual rights that I’m fighting every day to defend on the commission.


In sum, I have learned many lessons in the short time I’ve entered public service. Perhaps the most important is, that while we all hope government is on our side, the reality is it can be overbearing and unfair.  Few elected officials get such a close look at how that can happen.  I have, and it encourages me to fight even harder for you, and those who feel they don’t have a voice in county government. I invite you to contact me about the budget, property rights, or any issue you care about, and look forward to updating you as my term continues.

Welcoming the retiring A-3 to NAS Whidbey

Drug Take-Backs are inneffective.

As a fiscally conservative Commissioner, in a prolonged period of recession, I had little difficulty in not showing support for a couple of Pharmaceutical TakeBack Bills.  I believe it is likely, that the hundreds of pounds of medicine collected with these programs, is simply expired over the counter drugs. 

These programs were first introduced because of concerns for the Environment.  Not gaining much traction there, they recently transformed to an alleged cure for Drug Addiction.  In neither case is there substantial evidence they are providing a beneficial outcome.  For detailed information on the effects of  medicinal pollutants on the Environment, please click on this link:  Drugs and the Environment

With Governments at all levels having to tighten their belts, Legislators need to show a better sense of priority.  Let's spend the limited resources on the programs that will provide the best public benefit.

Information on Property Tax.