Botkin eyes tax money to fund his boondoggle
June 12, 2008 · Updated 4:17 PM
Kitsap Countys Music Man is trying to bamboozle you with his snappy patter again. But unlike Harold Hill in the beloved Broadway musical, Tim Botkin isnt about to let you off with with something as cheap as an imaginary marching band.
Not by half, he isnt. The former county commissioner aims to separate Kitsaps cash-strapped coffers from a cool $1 million to fund his Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project and thats only the beginning.
Botkin, speaking in Silverdale last week at a forum sponsored by the West Sound Technology Professionals Association, urged attendees to pressure the current commissioners to follow through on a pledge to pump $1 million into SEED.
And why? Apparently because he cant find anyone else who will.
The Washington State Legislature allocated $200,000 to the project far less than the $800,000 Botkin had requested and indicated no more would be forthcoming. SEED also missed out on an economic development grant earlier this month.
As for the private sector, Were not going to get companies to invest in a blank slate, Botkin said.
Memo to Kitsap County taxpayers: Theres probably a reason private investors wont put their money into Botkins scheme.
They dont think it will work. And if it wont work, why does Botkin expect you to pump your hard-earned dollars into it?
Aside from the $71,000 contract he got from the commissioners of the Port of Bremerton (yes, the same ones you have to thank for that nice bump last year in your property taxes) to develop this boondoggle, that is.
Lets be clear here. Theres nothing wrong with the concept of sustainable energy. But the point is, we operate under a capitalist economy for a reason because the free market does a far better job of making decisions about whats economically viable than hucksters like Tim Botkin.
If there were money to be made right now developing the kinds of whiz-bang technologies Botkin is promoting, private investors would be lined up to be a part of it. Instead, what we have is an assortment of fly-by-nighters who can only work on their vision when subsidized by taxpayers who demand nothing in the way of actual results.
Botkins right about one thing, though. If you believe in SEED, you need to contact your elected representatives.
And vice versa, we hasten to add.