“Magical thinking” and “Group think” will lead to Hadlock Sewer fiasco. This project is off the rails.

Jefferson County Commissioners:

I am outside the proposed Hadlock Sewer District (HSD). But I am a concerned County Taxpayer.

The BOCC is depending on federal funding or “Free Money” to finance this project. My concern as a country property tax payer is; even IF this project can be funded up to 100% of the initial construction costs, due to the limited number of tax parcels within the proposed HSD, they alone could not afford the annual cost of operating the Sewer Plant or HSD.

My concern is the Legacy Costs of sewer plant operation, maintenance as well as maintaining the Plant to ever increasing federal standards, will eventually fall to the County. Thus increasing all County Taxpayers Property Tax.

My other issue is the BOCC do not appear to be objective. I do not believe anyone of you have demonstrated to date,  the Skills needed to navigate through this proposal in a manner that will protect County Taxpayers from long term tax liabilities if this project goes forward.

According to local reporting the BOCC approved a purchase of property for a sewer plant sometime ago. Before any Vote by Taxpayers to approve the HSD. This decision demonstrated the BOCC  are proponents of this Project. Supposedly this whole effort is supposed to be a “community of business interests”. Since when does a County Government buy and “Hold” property in order to provide future “options” for a private group of developers?

What Funds Were Used in this purchase? How much did the BOCC obligate for this purchase and under what legal “authority” was used to obligate funds without voter approval?I want answers to these questions!

Obligation of taxpayer funds demonstrate the BOCC are PROPONENTS of this Project and are not objective. Kate Dean’s recent article about this project underscores this vividly.  She was regurgitating talking points of the business interests promoting the HSD.

The cost and environmental issues associated with this proposal are huge. The future liability of All County Taxpayers are potentially on the line. 

Just simple Arithmetic, dividing out the number of parcels served by the cost of initial construction, maintaining a Sewer system alone should signal that this project is just another “magical thinking” example..on economics alone. The idea or concept that this proposal can stand on it’s own without County taxpayer help is ridiculous.

There is so much WRONG about this proposal. How did it get this far with so little analysis? Real Simple, “Magical Thinking”. Magical Thinking and “Happy Talk” is the analysis and the same process that lead to the Fiasco around the City of Port Townsend and its involvement with the Fort and PDA. 

The same “process” that lead the Public Homeless initiative barging a House from Canada without any building inspection prior to the Sale? How is that turning out? How about the failed initiative to increase property taxes for the “Homeless”. The BOCC approved that to be on the ballot, how did that turn out? More importantly it demonstrated how very much out of touch the BOCC is with what the taxpayers believe are important. Review that Vote!

I’ve lived in this County for over 40 years. There is a common complaint echoed by county residents about the BOCC. I am sure you have heard it. When a new commissioner gets elected, they enter the court house and become extensions of the Port Townsend City Council.  Can you see a pattern here? Can you see the results of the lack of critical thinking and “Group Think”. The half-baked magical thinking crowd has had a effect on the BOCC.

As a result the failed homeless initiative, PDA fiasco and the proposed “Homeless” property tax increase. The genesis of that new tax initiative started within the PTCC. That is how We Got Here! And I do not want a repeat that could affect County Taxpayers!

With all that said, make no mistake what my motives are. I do not feel the BOCC or my new commissioner is looking out for the County Taxpayer and you are blundering in the same direction as the PTCC! I have no doubt that each of You are sincere and Honest Public Servants. I know each one of you are trying to Help solve problems as You see them.  But this project is off the rails and needs objectivity along with a Cost Benefit Analysis as well as a Environmental Impact Statement. Building a Sewer Plant along the banks of Chimacum Creek? Increasing density of housing and running a sewer plant on our aquifer? Let alone how this will affect the community.

I want answers to my questions about the land purchase and request them in writing within a reasonable amount of time, (30 days from the receipt of this email).  I also want assurances as to HOW YOU PLAN TO PROTECT THE COUNTY TAXPAYERS OUTSIDE THE HSD from the costs of this project. And I want a clear-eyed analysis of The Cost Benefit of the project. These Federal Grant’s come with big long term costs…but not yet have I’ve heard a WORD from my elected officials as to what they are. Just superficial “Happy Talk”. 

Harvey Olson

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