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General News · 20th August 2017
Cali Waddell
On a small island there are two types of people; those who try to build up and those who try to tear down. Are their reasons the same, self-agrandization? Or are they really trying to make the community work? The buildupers seem to have community interests at heart, trying to find programs, housing, food for the population of the island. On the other hand, the teardowners seem bent on destroying whatever is proposed without any positive alternatives. Right now, on this island, we have those who are proposing a referendum (NOT A TAX), to allow the population a vote so everyone can express their wishes. The nay side is not expressing their opinion on the vote, NO! They demand that there be no vote so only their opinion is heard. The rest of us get no say. I know, I know, they have very strong feelings about this, however, perhaps others do as well. This small group of people seem to believe that they are more intelligent and better informed than the rest of the population of this island. Their demand that there be no referendum seems to me to be very arrogant. I don't believe that they have the right to decide what is best for me or this island. I want to be able to vote on this issue.
Misunderstood concerns
Comment by Rod Lee on 26th August 2017
Cali, it dismays me to read your comments about the teardowners . You know perfectly well that many of those opposed to a hall tax have spent many, many hours of volunteerism, contributed much in the way of baking, salads, pies, etc. , and made direct monetary contributions to your Mansons community hall, and the SCCA! You simply do not understand that we have nothing against your hall. We do have a real problem with how the SCCA manages their fiscal responsibility. For example, if you are going to buy a new car, you don't run out and buy anything. You figure out how much money you have, and then buy what you can afford! The SCCA goes out and makes spending decisions without knowing where the money is going to come from. Where is the logic in that?
As to not offering concrete solutions to the problem, I beg to differ. A week ago, I e-mailed John Sprungman and suggested that we should use the profits from the Community Forest logging function to fund the hall. This would solve two problems - one is to fund the hall, and the second to use these profits for the best way for the whole Island.
Comment by Wendy L on 22nd August 2017
The author of the article as an SCCA board member states it's proposal is about a referendum NOT A TAX.
If it's not about a Tax what is the purpose of the proposed Referendum?

It should behoove the SCCA to publish for the public the names of it's Board members, rather than just signing their public notices- The Board of the Southern Cortes Community Association, or the SCCA Board.

There should be made available a list of paid staff including Hall Manager(s), and grant writer (s) who would stand to receive any monies from our property taxation.

The last SCCA meeting notice - Time for a Change- stated there would be a full public discussion of the Hall Tax issue at that meeting. Please bring your concerns and questions."
That evening there was an attempt to stop non-members/the public from entering the meeting. When they were allowed in, they were told they couldn’t speak.
Why didn't the SCCA members in the room, Cortes Regional Director et al. use their 'permitted' voices to say the meeting should be stopped...and then walk out?
It is no big stretch to suggest the offensive proceedings were a set-up, a sham.
Talking democracy, eh?
Re Longer Term Consequences
Comment by Carol on 21st August 2017
I suppose it could be argued that, ultimately, renters may also have to bear the burden of a tax increase if landlords increase rental rates to cover higher taxes?
Re Divisiveness and Fairness
Comment by Carol on 21st August 2017
It takes courage for people to stand up for what they believe in, to take a stand against questionable practises and oppression, for example. Yes, this can shake a community up but is sometimes necessary and for the highest good of the community ultimately. Regarding a referendum, if I understand correctly, what this means is that anyone living here for longer than 3 months can vote? So, renters, for example, can cast a vote that effectively increases property taxes yet it doesn't have any impact whatsoever on their own budget ... is this right and fair? On the other hand, renters and property owners alike can help support the hall(s?) through participating in fund-raising activities, for example, thus sharing the burden of hall maintenance. But perhaps I misunderstand? If so, someone please clarify!
More taxes
Comment by Les on 21st August 2017
It seems a little unfair that the taxpayer is the only people affected negatively, it would seem that the people that benefit from the hall should bear the burden of the costs, who are the users of the hall and could they be better served in other facilities. There seems to be a lot of expenses incurred on Cortes Island with little or no planning as to how these expenses will be paid for.
Comment by Elizabeth Anderson on 21st August 2017
Cali's simplified case may insult some but the point is we should be able to vote on the issue. The benefits of supporting our community hall(s) far outweigh the tax amount. I see it like the school tax or the hospital tax. It is part of our responsibility to the greater community even if we truly believe we will gain no benefit from it. If we can be a community with a rich cultural offering, everyone will benefit. I brought my children up in a remote setting, glad for the isolation but lacking in cultural options. Their response? They have never gone back there, ever.
only some
Comment by Jack on 21st August 2017
Re the hall tax. Requested only by SCCA.
Referendum? Everyone gets to vote, but only some have to pay........maybe not so democratic after all

Let me clarify.......those claiming full time residency can vote. As mentioned in another article, several classes of property owners (the ones who would have to pay the tax) are NOT allowed to vote. The old "taxation without representation" deal. I repeat, not so democratic at all.......
re tax
Comment by Mae Sherwood on 20th August 2017
I totally agree with you. At least with a referendum we will all get a vote. Mae
Comment by Jack on 20th August 2017
Cali, I am so sorry that you have such a limited perspective.
I could write much more, but why bother..........
date and time more info?
Comment by shirley A. on 20th August 2017
When is the referendum?
Where will it be?
What is the tax about/for?
who does it impact and how much is it?

Is the referendum date, time, and location advertised already? Can someone provide directions where this info can be found?
One thing that might be helpful...
Comment by Becky Knutson on 20th August 2017
I have been approached by different folks about this and I think it would be helpful to have a meeting open to all residents of the island, without concern for whether they are a member of SCCA or not. From what I have been told, the previous meeting that was held restricted the input from those not a member of SCCA and since this is potentially calling for an island wide referendum, it would seem that everyone should have some say in the matter. If I have received info that is not accurate, that would surely point to the need for everyone to be getting the same info.
Very well said
Comment by Ian Ross on 20th August 2017
Thanks for your thoughts, Kali, you've summed up the kernel at the core of this current taxation-revolution. Just like in America over 200 years ago, taxes seem able still to provoke the strongest of feelings. For people as fortunate as we are here on Cortes (and, indeed, the entire West of this world), the "us and them" attitude that pervades the tone of such talk does seem a bit ill-thought out. However, we all have the right to our own dim view. Thanks for speaking up.

Comment by Maureen Bader on 20th August 2017
Talk about a false dichotomy. There are as many types of people on an island as there are people on an island (or anywhere else) – we are all individuals with our own wants and desires. True, different types of people exist, but not just builders and destroyers, no matter how creatively defined. There are makers and takers, and also people with an agenda they want to impose on others (and make others pay for it) as well as those who just want to be left alone (and use their scarce income for the stuff they want).

Let’s not get into a divisive battle about whose agenda will reign supreme. Instead, let’s respect each individuals desire to fund what he or she values. How do we know what someone values? By what that individual freely chooses to spend his or her money on, not what someone is forced to fund by a coercive tax system.
Comment by Norma on 20th August 2017
Just the two types?