Port Townsend citizens are very fortunate. We are served by the highly dedicated and experienced first responders of East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR). The city of Port Townsend has successfully negotiated an interlocal agreement and contract with EJFR for 11 years, and through that contract the city represents PT citizens with the fire district.
One argument for annexation into the EJFR district is that it will provide more consistent governance for those who receive services. Our perspective is we have been served well by the agreement and contract, and there have been no apparent problems with governance or service.
Just the contrary, we have never heard a complaint about the service, and are not aware of a groundswell of support for annexation. City residents are now being asked to pay several hundred dollars or more for a service that we already value and receive.
Further, our city leaders seem to have represented us very capably with the EJFR and negotiated well-conceived contracts. Is direct representation in the fire district really worth a fairly substantial tax increase? If so, shouldn’t the city reduce our property tax rate to offset the increase we will incur with annexation into the fire district?
While my spouse and I believe Port Townsend needs additional revenue for services, roads, combatting homelessness, etc., we do not believe this is a way to achieve that revenue.
As that old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke … ”
Vote no on annexation during the special election Feb. 12.