Reject the SJC Destination management plan | Letter

I’m confident you are getting a lot of citizen concern over proposed measures on the Destination Management plan so I will brief as possible.

1. Stop land grabs from citizens who don’t want to sell. A hiking trail does not justify imminent domain. What if it was your property? Are you ok with that move by the county?

2. Long term camping. Absolutely no. We will create another problem that we don’t have the resources or money to support.

Long-term camping is simply inciting problems on your doorstep. Long-term camping already exists along Interstate 5 and Seattle. How is that going?

Freedom camping sounds like another word for a way to support homelessness. You will increase crime, incur future problems for both the sheriff and citizens.

The homeless problem is a misnomer. Only approximately 10-15 percent of homeless people actually need homes. The others have either mental illness problems or drug addictions. Housing or camping does not do anything to address the real issues. States have billions of dollars addressing homelessness not realizing they are attacking the wrong problem.

If you were to allow long-term camping and freedom camping what is the plan when winter weather comes? Do you have the resources to support that? At what cost in both dollars and the community?

San Francisco is on the path to bankruptcy now with their policies. Major budget cuts that will only exasperate the existing problems. This is a small county. If a big city can’t handle these problems how will San Juan County?

3. No on any more property tax increases. Mine went up 59% in one year. I’ve heard stories of 70-110%. How much did yours go up? If you are on a fixed income as I am it becomes unaffordable to live here.

As a young man returning from Vietnam, I was shocked to come home and see most of the retired folks who lived on my street their entire adult lives had moved. They paid their houses off but had to sell and move because the taxes became so high. That should not happen. Prop 13 in California stopped that because the problem became huge. Don’t let that happen here!!! Stop property tax increases. The last “ hit” was unexpected and outrageous.

What happened to our 1% tax limit here?

4. Finally, stop so many taxes. People are getting fed up. Look at the latest Orcas Fire Tax levy failure as proof.

You have been elected to fairly represent the people. Government was never designed to do everything for everybody.

Please don’t create more problems, more staff, more resources, more taxes. I for one am FED UP!!

Thank you for your service. Please keep San Juan Islands safe, clean and affordable.


John Howlind,

Orcas Island