Editor, San Juan Islander
Editor, San Juan Islander By now, I expect most of the readers of this newspaper are keenly aware of San Juan County’s extreme lack of affordable housing, especially housing for lower income families who provide the basic services on which we all depend. And that this lack has a huge impact on the ability of these families to live and thrive here.
Most readers probably even know that in November, county voters will be presented with the opportunity to establish a Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) of one half of one percent that will be applied largely to new buyers of real estate in the San Juans--with the proceeds dedicated to providing affordable homes for purchase and rental. (For more information, visit www.yesforhomes.net.)
What readers may not know is that this tax has great potential to actually improve our Quality of Life, as opposed to other dedicated taxes which seem to be spent largely to maintain the County’s bureaucracy (e.g., the .1% Mental Health sales tax) or get frittered away (e.g., the hotel and lodging sales tax).
Reason for optimism is provided by several factors:
Funds will be managed by the San Juan County (SJC) Community Services Department, with assistance by the Housing Advisory Board, both of which have a history of sound administration and low overhead.
Funds may be usable to match other sources of federal and state housing assistance, which means they can be leveraged to provide an estimated four dollars of housing acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and operation for each county dollar expended.
San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez islands are all blessed by the long-time presence of successful community housing trusts, such as Orcas Island’s OPAL, which will be involved in directing and implementing REET funded projects and in ensuring accountability for the funds spent.
Now is the time to take a tangible step forward in addressing our islands’ most pressing need. I hope we will not squander this opportunity.
Please join me in voting YES FOR HOMES this November! Steven Jung, Olga
- Voter turnout 81.43 percent in San Juan County; Updated vote totals
- Election results: Krebs, Gaylord and Jewett win, affordable housing REET approved
- Grifo: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Gaydos: Supports Gaylord for county Prosecutor
- Ranker: Supports Jewett for District Court Judge
- Longan: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Storey: Supports Asher for Sheriff
- Editorial: Brandli is the logical choice for District Court Judge
- Editorial: A hesitant Yes For Homes
- Mock Election now open for all Washington K-12 students
- 44 Businesses and Organizations: We support Yes for Homes
- Evans and Brownell: Support Randy Gaylord
- Samish Indian Nation Chairman: Supports Initiative 1631
- Mager: Elect Steve Brandli
- Some ballots cast, others still on the way to voters' mailboxes
- Alexander: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Nick Power: I know where the problems are in the county
- Gaylord running for 7th term as county Prosecutor
- Did Krebs and Gaylord lie to the county Council?
- Brennan: Vote No on Initiative 1639
- Ibold: A reluctant Yes for Homes
- Jensen: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Brandli would like to be the next District Court Judge
- Jewett's goal to be a judge may be in sight
- Weiss: Endorses Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Delay and Rands: Vote for Brandli for District Court
- Drath: Vote Yes for Homes
- Lange: Why I Support Randy Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- OPALCO supports WA I-1631
- Appel: Our Necessary Alliance
- Retired FBI agent endorses Asher for Sheriff
- Fouquette: How do I fairly navigate the Sheriff’s Guild endorsement?
- Brennan: I-1639 is Wasted Energy
- Brash: Vote Yes for Homes
- Rhoads: Vote Yes for Homes
- Graham: Vote Yes for Homes
- Wilding: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Kaiman: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Peter: Supports Krebs for Sheriff
- Sheriff's Guild endorses Krebs
- Brennan: Doesn't trust Sheriff Krebs
- OPALCO Supports Affordable Housing Solutions: Vote YES FOR HOMES
- Johns: Supported Krebs for sheriff in 2014, will not vote for him in 2018
- Strutz: Vote Yes for Homes
- Roberts: Vote Yes for Homes
- Ford: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Franciosi: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Murray: Affordable Housing - From A Senior Point of View
- Grout: Vote Yes for Homes
- Appleton: Commends Gaylord and Jewett
- Magee: Vote Yes for Homes referendum
- deGavre: Why I won't vote for Gaylord
- Zwilling: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Does the Brady letter matter?
- Moe: Three Reasons to Re-elect Randy Gaylord
- Six attorneys express support for Nick Powers
- Latsinova: Supports Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Olson: Businesses hurt by affordable housing shortage
- Milliken: Supports Asher for Sheriff
- Alderton: Our community needs safe and affordable homes
- Flanery: Supports Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- How much are the candidates spending and who is contributing?
- Pollard: Time to retire Gaylord
- Guest Column by Alex MacLeod: Gaylord ignored warnings about disgraced detective
- Stamper: Supports Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- Dustrude: Supports Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- Orcas Resource Center: Vote Yes for affordable housing REET
- Have questions about Affordable housing REET?
- Drozd: Supports Gaylord for prosecutor
- Lawrence: Vote yes for Affordable Housing REET
- Barbour: Vote Yes on Housing REET
- Ever wonder how ballots are counted? Process may surprise you
- Kenimond: Supports Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Pederson: Supports Gaylord for PA
- Tharp: Support Nick Power for San Juan County Prosecutor