Yacolt’s triumph: Southwest Washington community acts to head off Eyman’s I-864
Essay At A Glance
Last week, a major blow was struck against Eymanism when voters in Yacolt’s Fire District 13 voted to give their fire commissioners the ability to defy I-864 should it later become law so they could replace their fire engine and keep their full-time firefighter at his post to help the twenty-five volunteers.
This was done with the consent of the voters and with the full understanding that the threat posed by Eyman’s I-864 had to be addressed.
Fire District 13 is not a jurisdiction that wastes taxpayer dollars. They are true stewards of the common wealth who prudently manage their finances. They waited ten years to replace their 1975-era fire engine, saving $150,000 over that time period.
Fire District 13 is a small local government that only receives $98,000 in property taxes annually. It is jurisdictions like FD 13 that are most threatened by Eyman’s I-864.
Those sympathetic to Eyman’s arguments about taxation had better realize that I-864 would wipe out funding for public services close to home. It’s not aimed at state government; it’s a bomb that’s designed to cause immense damage to fire districts, library systems, parks, police departments, sewer, and water services.
Those who call themselves Republicans should be ashamed that Tim Eyman has, to a great extent, become the face of the Republican Party in Washington State. The party of Dan Evans and Ralph Munro has morphed into the party of Tim Eyman, unwisely rubber stamping every unconstitutional scheme that Eyman comes up with.
Even those who call themselves “small government conservatives” should be opposed to I-864. Eyman is attempting to wield this latest initiative like a broadsword, hacking away with no regard for the consequences. Republicans who believe in the values Washington was founded on should find this unacceptable.
No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, these cuts are so drastic, so devastating, that it’s vital we all come together to oppose them. Eyman’s followers may not want to admit it, but it costs us money to live in a civilized society.
Fire commissioners in the Yacolt area are well-positioned to understand the danger that I-864 would cause. They didn’t want to wait to see if the initiative would pass to take action to protect their community. So they rallied their constituents and put into place a plan to sustain fire protection in the event I-864 passes.
To them, we say bravo. And to those reading this essay, we say: Join us in letting your friends and family know about the harm I-864 would cause. Decline to sign I-864 if approached by a petitioner, and report your experience to Permanent Defense so we can better track the signature drive.