Saturday, October 22, 2005

Working Waterfront Reform Act cont.

There wasn't even one nay vote in both houses of the Maine Legislature when this bill went through. It's going to the voters now in a referendum in a couple of weeks. It's the working stiffs against the summer home folks and developers it looks like. And since the summer home set are mostly from out-of-state, this should be a lead pipe cinch.

There already are provisions all over the place for assessing property on it's current or historic use: green belts, parks, timberland, farmland. Without some protection from lawmakers, there is no way fishermen can compete against developers for prime waterfront space because of the taxes based on assessed value.

One day I was toying with the new Google Earth program that uses satellite photos and was looking at Kodiak. For some reason, it was showing the physical location of small processing plants. They were scattered all over the City of Kodiak. Not the model of an effecient port for fish handling. Of course Kodiak already has large plants lining it's waterfront like seagulls on the beach. But whoever did that almost seemed like they were trying to make a point.

An Alaska law should go further and disallow government entities of all stripes from owning the prime waterfront spots, like the University of Alaska in Juneau does. You'll probably never dislodge the Coast Guard from their nice digs on the Juneau waterfront, but you could stop further erosion of the fisheries economic base by government. In Petersburg it was the Fish and Game Department. ADF&G could have used the boat harbor slips for their skiffs like everyone else and that property with an all-tide boat float could have been used by a specialty seafood processing plant.

Government efforts in fisheries infrastructure; a case study.

Here's a report on Brookings, Oregon's attempt to help the fishermen and should probably stand as testimony to how fast taxpayer's dollars can be wasted when free enterprise is not the prime directive. Communities in Alaska have done a lot of good in putting in public docks with hoists to help fishermen do what they are already doing. It's like coming along with a backhoe to help someone who is digging a ditch with a shovel.

What you can't do is offer him mining equipment. Heck, he only wants to bury a water line, not dig for the iron ore to make the pipe. What does he know about smelting ore anyway, even if there was ore under his house, which there probably isn't, but nobody bothered to find out.


Post a Comment

<< Home