Elections, Year of the Rural?, Notes

by Tim Matthes

Election reminder for our members

The general election is just around the corner and I need your help. Many of our members are very passionate about the candidates they are supporting. Please remember that Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners is non-partisan and we, as an organization, do not officially support any particular candidate. There are two good reasons for this position.
We are not registered as a political action committee (PAC) with the Internal Revenue Service.  We have always concentrated on issues that affect all of our members’ property and don’t care which party they support . Instead KAPO concentrates on issues such as the Shorelines Master Planning Process, the Year of the Rural, The Critical Areas Update, and  the many regulations and laws affecting how we use and enjoy our property.
Your leadership regularly discusses, recommends, and enlists support for our issues from  federal, state, and local elected representatives. As your elected KAPO officers we must work with whomever holds these offices. When you attend KAPO sponsored functions please help us show that we will work effectively and cooperatively with anyone duly elected to office regardless of his or her party affiliation. Thanks for your continued support on this subject.

Year of the rural, what exactly is that?

The Kitsap County Department of Community Development is working on creating this rural Kitsap. In fact, the department has been holding visioning sessions around the county to dream up a new rural element of what Kitsap will look like. In reality, it will show how a few people want Kitsap County to look in the future.
Keep in mind that in the visioning process our county uses only a few people or select groups with little input from the actual affected property owners. Mostly this visioning process is a good way to support predetermined conclusions.
We should consider that according to the Growth Management Act, Kitsap County does not contain large amounts of rural lands. Kitsap County has no real class II farming soils, and only a few actual sustainable farming operations.
We have a lot of hobby farms… Most are one to five acres in size that produce little cash crops. These hobby farms do provide their owners with satisfaction and great opportunities to raise some of their own food.
I know about hobby farms as I raised cattle in the Port Orchard area for many years. All of my cattle feed had to be imported from farms in Eastern Washington. I did buy hay from local folks for bedding. The local grass did not have enough nutrients to sustain my cattle. Thankfully, the shipyard provided a living wage income enabling my family to enjoy our hobby farm.
Visioning cannot change the facts. Be very skeptical when someone tries to convince you otherwise.
There is a sixty some page report on the Kitsap County web site titled “The Year of the Rural”. Go to www.kitsapgov.com Department of Community Development to read it. Creating large, people-free zones seems to be its goal.

I received this note from one of our members, and I have included my answer:

I joined KAPO thinking it was primarily concerned with beaches… I got a newsletter announcing a dinner at AA China Buffet. In the post card it commented on the lack of “science” on the issue of global warming…. that is very troubling opinion and suggests that KAPO has a larger, more ambitious agenda… I respect your right to your opinions. It is just not mine…  and will not renew…
Dear Member,
You are right.  KAPO has a much larger agenda than just waterfront property issues. We have always been in the business of going to meetings and collecting information regarding many things. Things that we believe will affect your right to keep and enjoy your property, no matter where it might be located.
Are you familiar with the principals of Smart Growth? Do you understand what a sustainable development is? These as well as global warming and now climate change are tools that the very liberal among us are using to justify limiting your property uses and in some cases eliminating property rights completely.
I wish I could say that the “Shorelines Master Plan Update” process was the only issue that KAPO had to worry about, but that is not the case. KAPO has at times had four PhDs looking into the science of large buffers, septic systems, bulkheads, docks, and many more studies in relation to shorelines.
Our scientists do not stop there however, they look at things like climate change to see if this might be used to limit our property right and uses. It is regrettable that you do not wish to continue your membership in KAPO. KAPO will continue to defend the “bundle of property rights” that have always been a source of freedoms here in America.

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