I sense a rather high level of discord among some residents of Thurston County regarding Port of Olympia activities. Not only are there many people who oppose certain cargos the Port handles (i.e. fracking sands), but there are a significant number who simply want the whole thing shut down. And this discord is not new, but has been festering for decades.
Well, I have a suggestion. People who oppose what the Port is or does should make sure they remember to vote the next time commissioners come up for election. Change must come from the top down in this situation, and getting more Commissioner Zitas elected will make change happen. Protesting in the streets will not.
Indeed, the railroad blockade of last fall probably did more to garner support for the Port because the protesters were so unreasonable. Sure, the cops went overboard too (I would have just fenced off the blockade and only let people out, not in), but something had to be done to get freight moving again. Choosing unattainable goals is best for making martyrs, not inducing change.
Anyway, I would like to close with this thought. In the breakdown of where my 2017 property taxes are going, I noticed I’m shelling out $68.07 to the Port of Olympia, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Thurston County landowner who has to pay up. Well, my question is, if the Port is such a big money maker, why does it need a taxpayer subsidy to survive?
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