Citizen Editorial

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Something Else To Remember In November

I just received my Vehicle License Renewal Notice in the mail.  When you get yours, you may want to read it over carefully to really understand what DOL is doing to you.

My renewal totals $108.00 and is broken down like this:
$3.00       Filing fee funds go to the county in which the fee is paid.
$58.00      Gross weight fee funds road, street, and highway maintenance and improvements.
$42.00      Personalized license plate fee provides funding for the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
$5.00       Service fee retained by subagent, or funds ferry replacement if renewed at County Auditor or DOL.
$108.00   Sub Total.
$5.00       Optional state parks donation.

Now, I don't know how long the $5 service fee has been in place, nor do I know when the State started keeping the $5 if you did not use a subagent to renew your license tabs. The subagents are often more convenient and $5 is not unreasonable for their service.  However, the county already gets a $3 filing fee whether they process the renewal or not.  So, if you don't use a subagent, such as Mountain View Licensing, the State collects $5 for each transaction to pay for ferries.

Even though I live here in Mason County, I do not use the ferries. People who live in Eastern Washington do not use the ferries but pay the same $5 per transaction. This means every vehicle, boat, boat trailer, RV, motorcycle, etc. in the entire state is assessed the extra $5 when their registration/license is renewed.

The bottom line is that this is a sneaky way to collect money from the people.  I don't recall anyone in state government announcing this particular fee that is collected regardless of where you renew your licenses.

I for one would like to hear what our legislators in the 35th District have to say about this.  Just something else to "Remember in November!

Richard Barnes, Shelton

May 28, 2015

Remember In November

Did you notice that our legislators while in a "Special Session" to complete their work on a State Budget, managed to take time to vote themselves an 11% pay raise to be phased in over the next two years?  Do you also recall that recently we were informed that one of the largest employers in our community was shutting down and selling their equipment to another firm that would not be hiring any workers for approximately two years?  Can you recall the last time that the elderly received more than 1.7% increase in their Social Security?

Well, our legislators either do not remember or worse, do not care.  Our already struggling economy in the 35th Legislative District and in many other Legislative Districts has just received a serious hit.  Did anyone hear any legislator from the 35th District, or any other District express concern, dismay or even acknowledge the increased economic pressure? NO!  Are our legislators concentrating on their duties to represent us, their electorate during their deliberations?  I don't think so.  Remember they all have jobs or professions to make a living for themselves and their families during the other 9 months of the year.  They know that we the people will have to pony up additional taxes to help them meet their Supreme Court mandated funding of K-12 Education in this state, even if we are among the hundreds of people who will be unemployed very soon.  Their callous disregard of we the people fully reveals their devotion to their parties whether they're D, R, or any of the others.

Let's send them a message. Lets tell them that they have a very limited time to acknowledge who they work for and take appropriate action to address the massive imbalance between income and spending in State Government or in November we can arrange for them to join the hundreds of us who will soon be in the unemployment line.  Perhaps we should take action to see that the legislature is paid the State Minimum Wage for the minimum work they do.

Richard Barnes, Shelton

May 15, 2015

Kathy McDowell is on a mission to put us on the map!

I have known Kathy for years now. It seemed that every event we had at the civic center Kathy was there as a city employee, making sure we had everything we needed. In that time, while we were setting up or taking down I had a chance to chat with her and get to know her.

I was inspired by her vision for Shelton. She had many ideas on how to attract employers but more importantly- how to keep them here. She talked about attracting newcomers and having events like Eco Challenges or Mystery Dinner Trains. She believes in us and Shelton and more than that- she believes in possibilities. It is not about turning people away with a ‘NO” but finding a path to “YES”.

I am thrilled that she is willing to step up and get to work for us!

You can contact Kathy @

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dinah Lee Griffey,

Allyn, Wa

Citizen Editorial: Letter to the People of Shelton

We are now approaching the filing period for the extremely important positions of commissioners for the Port of Shelton. I say this in plural form! Many of you can remember me coming to your door and standing the long hours at the post office collecting signatures to place the sucsesfull proposition to reorganize the commissioners positions and now it has finally come to frutation ! For the first time in our Port history we will be electing two of the three commissioners at the same time! It is time for you as a community to find people to take the reins as commissioners and change its negative course it has been on for decades! Wheather you are unhappy about the destruction of the fairgrounds. the lack of support for our children at MCRA, the mismanagement of funds and equipment ( spending $200,000 for power on the abandoned runway or using port equipment to clean privately owned property that resulted in estimated $20,000 in labor and equipment damage) or the contemptuous position the port has had against any use of port property by the public. ( refusal to allow the drags after the FAA gave me permission to my proposal). That was Jay Hupp who said he supported drag racing during his election campaigning then add but not at Shelton after he was elected! Typical two face politics! Say what you want to hear during the campaign and do what they want after they are elected! Or if you feel it is time to turn the lights off and make it a DAY USE ONLY AIRPORT!

Or adopting a noise ordinance for gas powered aircraft so we are not constantly disturbed by  them! Then there is the issue of using port equipment to clean up Wallitners mess at the Port at port expense. The List of inexcusable atrocities is extremely lengthy but it all comes back to electing Port Commissioner who think that the sun rises and set on aviation! IT DOESENT! I have read the port deed many times and it clearly states that the 1000 acres is for Public benefit! We pay an enormous amount of taxes to support aviation ( It is clearly none self supporting and don't let them bullshit you and say it is!) Or if you have just had enough of the ports attitude that has cost this community thousands of jobs and tens of Millions in revenue, Now is the time to rise up and take control of the port! I have worked hard to bring you this opportunity now please take advantage of it! Talk to your friends and colleages and become running mates to change the course of history from a aviation only Port to a Community benefit Port!         

Rahn S. Redman, Shelton

April 27, 2015

Proven Result Of A Transportation Benefit District

What can a Transportation Benefit District do for Shelton's roads and economy?  Take a look for yourself at the benefits the city of Wapato has experienced since establishing a Transportation Benefit District in their town.  Wapato City story in the Yakima Herald

Establishment of a Transportation Benefit District offers a method to collect and setting aside money specifically for improving roads and streets within the set district (i.e. city, county).  Once the money is collected it can then be used to fix roads.  Included in the "approved" uses of this money is to use the money to apply for and get grants that require matching funds.  The story of Wapato Washington tells of the City of Wapato's use of Transportation Development District dollars; One example was a private grant for $650k, a company agreed to pick up a sizable portion of the cost of the road project, providing $309,200 with an economic investment grant from Yakima County matches the $309,200,leaving the city to provide the remaining $25k-$32k.  Numbers estimated for the City of Shelton with a $20 tab fee is $130k annually.

The story also highlighted plans for next year; to apply for a transportation grant of $450k, with the City of Wapato matching the grant request with $50K to complete a $500k project which widened and paved streets.  By the way the matching funds are generally due at the end (or completion) of the work, giving additional time to collect (save) money for the match.

The question on the table is this a tax?  or a method to build up funds (save) to improve the roads.  If the City has the reserve funds to fix roads the door starts to open to apply and secure grants (private, federal and state).  Without the reserve and/or matching funds we sit around and wait for the "free money" to fall in our laps.  KMAS was told by those who know "this isn't going to happen".  Currently the County's roads are in "better shape" than the City streets and roads because the County Road Engineer Melissa McFadden fights to maintain dollars in the road fund account specifically for maintenance and operation of the road department and to maintain road conditions.  The current 2015 road fund balance is $1M in 2015, the $1M will be used to acquire additional grant funding.  McFadden estimates the county could receive over $4M in grant dollars (a 4-1 ratio of grant dollars to matching dollars) to repair Mason County Roads.  Without the matching dollars the County would not qualify for any of the grants.

Jerry Eckenrode, Shelton, WA

March 5, 2015