Testimony to Board of County Commissioners March 23, 2015
Re: Kitsap County Social Marketing Campaign to remove shoreline armor.
I am Vivian Henderson a resident of Kitsap County. I have been here before – many times. I’m here again tonight as a private citizen, a taxpayer who feels like our government – on all levels – does a shameful job of handling my money. Adding insult to injury, government uses our money on mysterious projects that are intended to confuse and misguide taxpayers. I’m specifically speaking about the campaign to remove shoreline armoring. I don’t believe the commissioners completely understand the ramifications of this scheme.
As I have said before, the amount of money being spent on this project is obscene – $366,000. A simple ad in the local newspaper seeking waterfront property owners with armored beaches who are interested in learning more about unarmored beaches can call DCD.
I have asked Alan Beam, a well-known, savvy and respected real estate broker in Kitsap County, citizen and waterfront property owner to look over the grant and give us his critique. I have a copy of his report for you and anyone in the audience who wants one. Commissioners I ask you simply to read it.
I also asked Dr. Don Flora, for his thoughts on shoreline armoring. I have a copy of that for you also.
Another issue that bothers me is this so-called “Land Owners’ Agreement with Kitsap County”. The prospective land owner is expected to sign it. I cannot get a copy of it. When I inquire about it I am told it’s not completed yet and won’t be until late summer or fall. That is a ridiculous answer for obvious reasons. This agreement could be frought with potential pitfalls for the property owner.
Commission Garrido, suppose you went away on a business trip and while you were gone, Commissioners Gelder and Commissioner Wolfe approved a grant of $87,000 to the National Rifle Association. Well that is the way I felt when I saw that Kitsap County had approved such a grant for Futurewise! I was stunned. In 2012 Futurewise took in $541,000 in grants. We don’t know how much of this was taxpayer money. Futurewise is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act! You might want to think about that.
The constitutionality of these grants of taxpayers’ dollars to advocacy groups has come under scrutiny. I’m researching this matter. I’ll be back. Thank you.