The Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA) Cherry Point Coalition, Common Threads NW, the Associated General Contractors of Washington, Whatcom Family Farmers and hundreds of supporters concerned about Whatcom County’s economic future held a Wake Up Whatcom County rally on Tuesday, May 16th. The rally supports family wage jobs, economic opportunity and collaborative public policy in Whatcom County.
For those of you who are wondering how the Wake Up Whatcom County Rally turned out, Ashley Butenschoen reports:
Wake Up Whatcom County rally was a huge success! So many people from different industries with different concerns to take to the council. It was amazing to have so many from the farming community come out. So many came saying this was the first rally they had ever attended. These issues affect everyone.
Another pleasure was to hear from a Bellingham Technical College student, Alyssa Williams. She was amazing and set the bar for college students around this nation. Thank you to all who attended! Save our farms, protect our property rights and preserve our jobs!
This was a great event. We cannot thank the planners enough. We absolutely must turn out in ever-increasing numbers, to support events like these. Because the heavily ‘progressive’, anti-business, anti-fossil fuel, anti-property rights, illiberal County Council voted exactly the way they intended to vote, despite the rally, and despite the testimony in council sessions.
The council has frozen development of private land all across the county by excuse of the Hirst decision on exempt wells. They have frozen all development of Cherry Point industries, because these industries don’t conform to the type preferred by the council. That isn’t representation; that is dictation. What will those businesses do now? A business needs to be flexible to compete in the free market. Rud Browne was a businessman; he ought to know that. But he doesn’t vote that way. The next time BP needs to expand (or contract), what will they do? Well, if they’re smart (unfortunately), they’ll lay off everyone and move somewhere more business friendly.
With a stroke of the pen, the county council has reduced the property value of land on Cherry Point, and all across the county. The people who own properties that need exempt wells have seen their property values plummet. They can’t build on it, they can’t finance it, and they can’t sell it. If they had invested in this land for their retirement, well, that’s gone too.
Did somebody say ‘affordable housing’? This is the exact opposite of what is needed to facilitate affordable housing.
This will reduce the tax revenue to county government, which will have to be made up on the remainder of us, including those who don’t think they’re affected by this action. And that doesn’t begin to address the multiplication factor to other businesses all around the county, who depend on the Cherry Point workers for their livelihood.
Farmers are in the crosshairs too. Family farms have been marginally profitable for decades, but the regulatory climate has been driving more and more of them out of business. Generations of family farms and lifestyle are going extinct. The farms become subdivided into housing developments, or they are consolidated and turned into mega-agricultural conglomerates.
As if this wasn’t enough, our illustrious governor, Jay Inslee took a political swipe at Senator Doug Ericksen and representatives Buys and VanWerven, for their conservative values and opposition to Inslee’s hard-left policies, by vetoing a planned overpass in Blaine.
We simply cannot believe this is really what a majority of Whatcom County residents want for their future. November cannot get here soon enough. Remember what went down in the council chambers on Tuesday, May 16.
We need you to volunteer to help campaign for the people running in the council races who support business, jobs, freedom and property rights. And remember in November, to vote to change the makeup of the Whatcom County Council, with people who will actually represent their districts.