When Port of Brookings-Harbor officials announced they wanted to study a possible port district tax hike to fund a full-time police force not only for the port but the entire district, we were intrigued — and a little bit excited.
However, our hopes were dashed last week when a port subcommittee studying the idea was quick to consider quitting simply because of research presented by a citizen.
The issue, it seems, is that Curry County still has plenty of money to fund the sheriff’s department at its current level — if it took several million from the county’s road fund. Doing so is simply a matter of robbing Paul to pay Peter. It’s a short-term fix at best and doesn’t solve the current issue of inadequate patrol coverage throughout Curry County.
There are other options being considered, but none, if ultimately agreed upon, can be implemented any time soon.
Meanwhile, South County residents are left to fend for themselves. Sufficient levels of law enforcement can’t be guaranteed in either the port or the port district, which stretches from Pistol River south to the California border.
Lately, there seems to be an uptick in transient problems at the port and break-ins and car thefts in the surrounding area. This is unacceptable.
If the county can’t protect its citizens, we encourage the port to try. Don’t give up so easily on finding a palatable solution.
Voters have twice rejected similar law levies placed on the ballot by Curry County, but we suspect those were votes of no confidence in county government.
Perhaps citizens have more confidence in the port commission. The only way to find out is to study the idea and, if found to be a valid solution, let the voters decide.