Opinion: Regarding Poulsbo Port District Annexation

Letters Editor:

Do those whose ballots questioned whether the Poulsbo Port District should annex additional areas understand the issues?  Even if their property is far from Liberty Bay, a Yes vote means they want to be included.

Imagine you signed a blank sheet of paper, and then later discovered you lost your assets in a prenuptial agreement.  Similarly, the vast, unread, Port District Powers appears in RCW 53.08.

Only a few of those powers pertaining to property are:

A port district may construct, condemn, purchase, acquire, add to, maintain, conduct, and operate  sea walls, piers, docks, boat landings, and administration buildings.

We do know they intend to build a hotel in downtown Poulsbo, a cruise ship dock, more boat slips, increase  a seaplane dock, and dredge Liberty Bay.

Further, a port district may acquire, construct, install, improve and operate sewer and water utilities to serve its own property and other property owners under terms, conditions, and rates fixed by the Port Commission. There can be Local Improvement Districts within the Port District to be taxed by all property owners within the Port District, whether it ever benefits them or not.

RCW 53.08, the prenuptial agreement marries the property owner, not just to the Port Commissioners, but to all Port property owners’ decisions.  Divorce isn’t an option.  One must remain aware of upcoming finances and decisions to protect one’s property.  Since Port decisions wed the property to the Port, it will impact future sales or inheritance terms.

Please read the immense powers of Port Districts prior to voting.  It isn’t just the amount of taxes they cite now; this presents a big land grab and loss of property rights.  Port District powers retain the ability to levy other taxes, even condemn property. Some of Port plans create pollution, whereas homeowners protect the environment.

Dora “Cris” Shardelman

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