New Port District? Timing isn’t good for this election | Our Opinion | Oct. 28
October 27, 2011 · 3:47 PM
All things being equal, the creation of a Port of Bainbridge Island might be a good long-term answer for an island desperately needing another economic player other than the flailing real estate/building industry that can no longer depend on the incessant movement of people to a floating suburb 35 minutes from a metropolis.
Realistically, a new port district would mirror what has been created at Poulsbo and Kingston, both of which have become dependent on visitors with large appetites who float in and out of the Kitsap Peninsula ports via either a ferry or pleasure boats. Some might even want it to be more like the Port of Port Townsend, but that’s a completely different animal.
Besides, returning to the old Port of Bainbridge Island isn’t going to happen here unless a miracle happens like Washington State Ferries deeding its maintenance yard to a local public entity. No chance of that, so basically voters are being asked to form a port district that will turn Eagle Harbor into a more user-friendly harbor for locals and a port of call for visiting sailors that competes with others in the region.
Not a bad idea, since the city likely won’t spend the $2 million WSF settlement on improving the harbor as it should. No, there are too many dilapidated roads that can no longer be ignored. But do islanders really have the stomach for more taxes just so additional tourists will flock to Winslow to eat and shop during four or five months of the year? That hasn’t been a priority in the past.
Doubtful since the port is not something islanders have to have at a time when the future isn’t looking particularly rosy. Again, it would be encouraging if voters took the initiative to create something that might ensure a more dynamic economic future for the island and prove all the doomsayers wrong.
But the timing of this proposition couldn’t be worse, so expect a definitive no vote on this one.