hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Community Advisory Committee, Part II

As I was saying, the County Executive and his posse came up to talk to us Pointers a week ago and here's the big message that they sent: the County has very little revenue nowadays so it's not realistic to think the County is going to be transmitting large amounts of its general dollars to those of us up here and our perceived needs.  They resurfaced Tyee and restored the walking path along Benson to South Beach, they got the funding together for a new dock at Lighthouse Park (now in process), and they have invested in the Lily Point Park entrance and trails.  And that's probably about it for the moment.  And, they added, it would help for us to remember that we are in competition with every other town, city, and village in Whatcom County, and every one of its other residents, which total 201,628.

However, by contrast, we are NOT in competition with anyone for the use of the gas tax money (now over a half million).  A half million doesn't buy you much in the way of roads, but it is up to us to figure out what we want to do with the money, as long as it fits into the acknowledged fairly narrow definition of transportation.

Meeting attendees were not unanimous in any way as to what direction things should go: one person says, 'we want bike paths,' while someone else insists that he knows that what people want is trail development.  I myself like using some of the funds, at least, to underwriting the costs of keeping the flowers on Tyee blooming and even extending them so that the Garden Club would not be expending its own funds for that purpose and could then use its own funds to support something that does not fit under that narrow definition of transportation.

Ultimately, the problem is that there is no way of knowing what people want.  You can put ads in the paper, but if only 50 or so people respond, its a very weak claim that you then know what people want.  Normally, if you want to figure out what people want, either you have elected representatives decide the question or you have the people vote directly.  But, you are not going to get that question placed on your mail-in ballot and we don't have any elected representatives in the community to answer the question.

Thus, I'd predict that no matter how many Community Advisory Committee meetings I attend, I'll be hearing the same thing over and over.  There is just no decision-making process available here that I can see.

No comments: