Letters Give back the raise

To think that Randy Gaylord would accept,(much less be given), a $19,000/year raise is not only obscene, it is totally inappropriate, given the stark realities we are facing these days of budget cuts, lack of money, ferry woes, transfer station problems, increased fees all across the board.

No one on our county council seems able or willing to see that this raise represents a slap in the face of the people of San Juan County.

When is our leadership going to finally step up to the plate and truly be leaders? This is plainly and simply the wrong time to have even considered the idea of a raise, whether he deserves it or not! And to use the example of keeping up with the salary levels of other county attorneys is beyond ludicrous.

This is not good management. Randy, give back the raise. I’m sure you were living just fine on what we were paying you before. Let’s see leaders and employees BE examples to the people of what is right…for once.

It’s difficult to trust the accountability of our leaders when this happens in a recession. I won’t be voting for you next time, Randy. I’m disappointed and I’m angry.

$19,000 here…$19,000 there…pretty soon we’re talking about real money.

Let’s get real.

Lane Langford

Lopez Island

Gaylord weighs in on pay raise

A portion of the prosecutor’s salary is paid by the state and a portion is paid by the county.

The county’s portion of the prosecutor’s pay will not change in 2011; it remains at the amount set in 2007, almost four years ago.

In my presentation on the prosecutor’s pay, I asked, and it was agreed, that any change to the county’s portion be done in steps, with the first step beginning in 2012.

In recognition of the county’s financial difficulty, I asked to defer any change in pay to 2012.

This was the right thing to do and I proposed the change be made in steps to make it easier on the budget.

In counties small and large, the elected prosecutor and the superior court judge are appropriately paid the same because the work is comparable.

In 2008, the state House and Senate debated and then unanimously agreed with this approach. The governor also agreed, and the state now pays its portion of the prosecutor’s salary at one-half of the superior court judge’s salary.

Today, one-third of counties in Washington state pay the Superior Court judge and the prosecutor the same, or nearly the same amount.

Randall K. Gaylord

Prosecuting Attorney

Regulation/ Deregulation

Deregulation of banks has caused our severe recession. This illustrates that less regulation is not always better. Regulations address problems that arise as our society becomes more complex. The GMA was enacted to address environmental degradation and the loss of open space and farmland. Many people are ignorant of the gradual loss of once abundant species. We accept a degraded local environment as normal when we are youngsters, or when we move here from another place. People who have lived in the San Juans for 40 or more years say that the abundance of life on the land and in our skies and waters has declined sharply. This process of acquiescence is called “The Shifting Baseline Syndrome”.

These declines affect the quality of our lives and alert us to threats to our own health. Between 2005 and 2007, five million new chemicals became commercially available. This rate of development of man-made chemicals makes the careful testing of toxicity to people and the environment logistically impossible. Evidence is growing that our health is affected by gradual and cumulative exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Body weight is increasing not only in people but also in our pets and in pests, such as rats, that live off human rubbish. Hormone-disruptors, such as surfactant-derived nonylphenol, are thought to be contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Many products used in gardens and on the exterior of our homes contain surfactants. When stormwater carries surfactants to low-oxygen environments, the hormone disruptor nonylphenol is produced. Nonylphenol accumulates in fresh and marine waters where it feminizes male fish at extremely low concentrations. Fortunately, the complex life forms found in buffers of undisturbed soil and native plants can completely break down surfactants before they reach our waters. Native plant buffers are effective and inexpensive natural filters. To preserve the health, beauty, and wildlife of our islands, support native plant buffers.

Janet Alderton,

Orcas Island.

San Olson, DVM,

Orcas Island

(Alderton and Olsen are board members of Friends of the San Juans.)