Opinion: Power shouldn’t rest with bureaucrats

Last Thursday evening, Oct. 1, I attended the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners town hall meeting on administrative law.

I decided to go because I remembered the Kitsap County Department of Community Development’s Title V one year ago created a firestorm and was quietly rescinded by the Board of Commissioners because it had sections in it which violated the property rights of citizens. These sections would have had the power of law if the commissioners had not stepped into the fray.

The meeting was a real eye opener!

At the forum, I learned that we have a fourth branch of government that the speaker described as extra-Constitutional. Agencies like the Department of Community Development (DCD) are considered administrative agencies and they write about 90 percent of our laws. They write so many laws, rules and regulations that their work has even been enshrined in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). And, these laws have all the might of constitutionally passed laws.

Our governments, both state and federal, have gotten so large that our duly-elected representatives have shirked their responsibility by giving their power to nonelected agencies — not accountable to the citizens.

As former State Sen. Harold Hochstatter said, “If you decide the issue, you are a free man. If a politician decides the issue, you can unseat him. But if a bureaucrat decides the issue, you are a pawn and practically without recourse.”

I don’t want to be a pawn! Let our commissioners know that we do not give our power to unelected bureaucrats.

Joan W. Gorner, Poulsbo

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