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Opinion

Government intent is something for nothing

something for nothing Without naming names, a couple of the mayors of our Eastside cities made some astounding statements at the Oct. 17 Sammamish Watershed Forum meeting of public officials gathered to determine goals for habitat/water quality preservation.
   One stated a dislike of the goal calling for public ownership of river/stream corridors to protect fish habitat. The mayor said that would eliminate property tax revenue currently paid by private property owners. The mayor said the same protection goal could be accomplished by government management and citizen stewardship of the land, which would remain privately owned--and taxed.
   The other mayor objected to the statement that "The agricultural lands of the Sammamish Valley are protected primarily for their long-term productive economic resource value." That mayor stated that the primary benefit of ag lands preservation was for open space benefits.
   We private rights supporters of the related Initiative 164 and Referendum 48, which called for compensating property owners for regulatory impositions, were unable to persuade voters that governments' intent really was something-for-nothing. Too bad we lost.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville