Guest Column: Wally Vision 2010

I grew up in Tracyton in the ‘50s when Kitsap County was a scene of Americana from a Norman Rockwell picture. I pedaled my bike over the Manette Bridge and was a part of the Saturday matinee at the Admiral where 700 kids climbed over the seats and waited for Art Morken Sr., the Bremerton police chief, to talk about safety and introduce movies like “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” which scared me spitless. And later, I was on the streets of Bremerton in my ‘56 Chevy, when every night was “American Graffiti” night. When I came home from college, I knew I would never leave the water and the mountains of my home.

I built houses for the last 40 years that smelled of freshly milled Douglas fir and the sweet fragrance of spit cedar shingles. When I ran out of lumber in the long days of summer, and the store was closed, I loaded my truck with wood and slipped an accounting under the door.

Times have changed over the years, and now, I am ashamed. Ashamed of a Kitsap County government that has embraced the philosophy of men and parties that love government more than they love the people and dreams that are the heart and soul of Kitsap.

For the last decade, Kitsap County politics has promoted politicians and a culture in Port Orchard that has systematically ignored traditional property rights. They have hijacked property rights and investments for a vision of the future that is driven from state mandates and regional councils, from across the water. They see Kitsap citizens that need to bend to the will of toll roads, high density living and a vision of the environment where people are no longer part of nature, but where we have to be separated from the land and waters that we love. Separated in the name of saving the environment and protecting us from the imaginary hordes of people flooding into the county from across the water. Government continues to use fear tactics and money to force submission. I doubt few families would choose to raise a family five stories up in an apartment building surrounded by parked cars and asphalt.

Dilution is the solution. Let’s stop concentrating people in small spaces. Open up the county. Twenty-acre lots are too big for anyone to cultivate or mow the lawn. How about dividing twenty acres into five acres or two-and-a-half acres? That provides plenty of room for people, animals and dispersal of sewage. Sewage treatment for single lots has come a long way in the last 20 years. We’re not farmers. Kitsap County is a long peninsula with good roads running east and west that allow for easy transportation routes. If we have electric cars in the future, why not let us spread out? We can still run public transportation like buses and light rail. Utilities are not that difficult to run under the ground. We don’t have to live like caged white rats to protect the environment. We only have to live responsibly. We can do that.

The property owner, who goes to work every day to support a family, is no longer the gold standard for citizenship. The government says, “Just send us the gold and we’ll tell you if, when and what you can do with your property. And by the way, the rules will be changing in reaction to a moving target from intellectual think tanks in Seattle and Olympia.”

We have fought wars before to protect our freedoms and I fear the people must rise up and be heard soon or be silenced forever in an avalanche of bureaucrats.

We can still save government here in Kitsap County and I know how to fix it.

Democrat Wally Carlson is a candidate for the County Commissioner District 3.

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