No cart before the horse in island’s ‘port’ election | Our Opinion | Sept. 2

Proposition No. 110-2011, which will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, is simple enough. In part, it reads: “If approved, this proposition would form the Port of Bainbridge Island, with boundaries co-extensive with those of the City of Bainbridge Island and governed by a five-member Port Commission with members elected at large.  Should the Port of Bainbridge Island be formed?”

The difficult part comes later when voters are asked to choose five commissioners (each representing Positions 1 through 5) just in case the resolution for an island-wide port district passes with a simple majority of the vote. Pos. 4 will be easy, since there’s only one candidate (a second one quickly dropped out), but there are three candidates for each of the four other positions.

While it may seem odd to ask candidates to campaign for an office that may not actually exist, the county thinks it’s necessary because the new commissioners will be needed immediately in order to make decisions regarding the new Port of Bainbridge Island. Also, with 13 candidates seeking involvement, it certainly seems that there is sufficient interest in the formation of a port district – though it’s possible that there could be an ulterior motive or two involved: such as, a candidate who actually filed in order to campaign against the formation.

After all, this is Bainbridge Island, where anything is possible.

Here’s a question or two: Will the resolution be judged solely on its merits or will the candidates’ rhetoric be the decisive element? Or will there essentially be a negative vote because a new junior taxing agency doesn’t have a chance of approval at a time when citizens are generally against any form of new taxes?

Even on Bainbridge Island, you ask? Perhaps, though history says that islanders tend to look at the big picture and aren’t afraid to pay for their island lifestyle. We’ll see.

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