PORT ANGELES: Forum discussion focuses on initiatives

PORT ANGELES — Washington voters have weighed in with a series of initiatives in recent years calling for higher teachers pay and reduced property taxes.

But such initiatives are complicated, contradictory and lead to deep cuts in government services, speakers at a forum on the topic said Thursday.

The forum, which featured panelists from local government as well as public policy institutes, were critical of recent initiatives such as I-722, I-728 and I-732.

“It’s like we were gorging ourselves at a Thanksgiving feast, without thinking we would be left with an upset stomach,” Don Hopps, director of the Institute for Washington’s Future, wrote in a study distributed at the forum.

I-732, for example, will require $345 million new spending for automatic cost of living raises for teachers. I-728 earmarks $320 million to help reduce class size.

Hopps said the initiatives were fiscally irresponsible, and he called for a moratorium on any new measures.

“It takes away accountability,” said Port Angeles City Manager Mike Quinn.

John Beitzel, a Sequim councilman, said the effect of I-722, which would limit property tax increases to 2 percent, would have a huge fallout in his town. He estimated the initiative would cost the town $495,000 in lost revenue. I-722 was declared unconstitutional in Thurston County Superior Court in February, though it still awaits a final ruling.

The forum was hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Peninsula Daily News.

This full report appears in the Friday/Saturday edition of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

More in News

Pictured, from left, are Mary Kelso, Jane Marks, Barbara Silva and Linda Cooper.
School donation

The Port Angeles Garden Club donated $800 to the Crescent School in… Continue reading

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles, sit at the bow of a U.S. Coast Guard response boat on display during Saturday’s Healthy Kids Day at the Port Angeles YMCA. The event, hosted by all three Olympic Peninsula YMCA branches, featured children’s activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and a love for physical activity. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Captain on deck

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioners agreed on April 2 to seek a real estate market analysis for Lost Mountain Station 36 after multiple attempts to seek volunteers to keep the station open. They’ll consider selling it and using funds for emergency supplies in the area, and offsetting construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Fire District to seek market analysis for station

Proceeds could help build new building in Carlsborg

John McKenzie. (Clallam County Fire District 3)
Sequim to bring back fire, safety inspections

Routine visits out of rotation for almost a year

Isaac Wendel, 11, left, and his mother Jennie Wendel of Port Angeles, comb the beach on the inside of Ediz Hook in Port Angeles on Saturday as part of a cleanup effort hosted by Washington CoastSavers in honor of Earth Day. Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across numerous beaches on Washington’s Pacific Coast and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to collect trash and other unwanted debris. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Earth Day cleanup

Isaac Wendel, 11, left, and his mother Jennie Wendel of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

John Brewer.
Former longtime editor and publisher of PDN dies

John Brewer, 76, was instrumental in community

Randy Perry and Judy Reandeau Stipe, volunteer executive director of Sequim Museum & Arts, hold aloft a banner from "The Boys in the Boat" film Perry purchased and is loaning to the museum. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
‘Boys in the Boat’ banner to be loaned to museum

Sequim man purchases item shown in film at auction

Charisse Deschenes, first hired by the city of Sequim in 2014, departed this week after 10 years in various roles, including most recently deputy city manager/community and economic development director. (City of Sequim)
Deputy manager leaves Sequim

Community, economic development position open

Hoko River project seeks salmon recovery and habitat restoration

Salmon coaltion takes lead in collaboration with Makah, Lower Elwha tribes

Clallam Transit’s zero-fare program off to successful start

Ridership is up and problems are down, general manager says