Story last updated at 12:44 p.m. Thursday, September 19, 2002

Harbor plan all wet
Anchor Point residents please prepare to vote intelligently on Proposition 5 on Oct. 1. Elections then will also choose a board to head the enormous service area and then receive over $1 million of "free" money to study the costs of putting a harbor in Anchor Point.

I heard from two board candidates at the Sept. 12 meeting, and "wouldn't it be nice" and "find out what it costs" arguments are only half truths. Please remember the original proposition was written so the same board would also construct this harbor, with a legally limitless cap on the property taxes assessed to the residents of this new service area 60 times bigger than Anchor Point proper.

Only Mike O'Meara lives outside the town area, so voting "no" on Proposition 5 and also voting for Mike makes sure if the feasibility study passes, at least we have a voice of whole perspective, and a cautious approach to any construction.

In Anchor Point we have a small number of people organized and desiring an expensive harbor, and many people in the dark, or unknowing the costs and about to pick up the tab unless they vote well. Mike O'Meara is the only board candidate who wants to look completely at the costs, and the only one expressing his concern that this may well be a boondoggle.

At the meeting, I had the inspiration to write this "ode to a boondoggle." If you think of each of the following 10 statements as representing a reason to vote well Oct. 1, each statement could be $100,000 of savings in just the feasibility statement's costs alone:

"Ode to a Boondoggle"
* Before building a harbor or even forming a board, I believe it is only honest to look at all the costs involved in construction, maintenance and staffing.
* Our fish depend on clean water, not extra sediments, construction, discharge and breakwaters.
* Our livelihoods, recreation and subsistence depend on these fish and ecosystems as they are now.
* Never believe in a free lunch, much less in a free feasibility study.
* Doing what the Corps of Engineers says is feasible may still be very foolhardy.
* Our taxes will go up unless we vote this Proposition 5 down.
* Generally, a harbor sounds like a nice feature.
* Geographically this is called Anchor Point, because there is no snug harbor.
* Let's not spend a lot of money looking into a black hole of spending.
* Everyone's taxes should not be based on a development to benefit only a few. May the wild creatures and natural features prevail. Please vote No on Proposition 5.

Patrick Houlihan

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