The Kitsap County taxpayer is being asked to buy a new, locally managed, cross-sound ferry system and its terminals so that a few people can save 15 minutes commuting to and from Seattle. This new system will compete with an already existing, and also taxpayer-subsidized, money-losing ferry system.
Is that really worth millions of dollars?
Poulsbo and Bainbridge have already become bedroom communities for folks who work in Seattle but can’t afford to live there. The influx of more people has increased the traffic throughout the county and we’ve seen large swatches of forest land converted to new homes.
I do not know how and why the new ferries would “efficiently link students and those seeking employment in world-class businesses with schools and jobs” and “create … local economic opportunities.” The present ferry system “links” already and gives the commuter a bit more time to read, study, work, have breakfast or converse. If “expanding local bus service … 23,000 hours” is a reason for the Proposition No. 1, why not do that and feed into the existing ferry system?
What I do know is that more refugees from Seattle (I was one of them 30 years ago) buy or build homes in Kitsap County but that more homes do not mean lower property taxes. Quite the opposite: more homes mean higher property taxes.
I will vote no on Proposition 1. I would vote yes on more public transportation — buses to and from the ferries. But that is not on the ballot.