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Letters to the Editor - Oct. 3, 2011

  • Written by Readers

WOODINVILLE WATER DISTRICT

[The election campaigns of Hank Stecker and Jack Vermeulen] are based on assertions to the public that the Woodinville Water District (WWD) is going to expand sewer service into the rural areas and force its urban and rural septic system customers to hook up to sewers costing them tens of thousands of dollars is not accurate.

When you published your assertions, people on septic systems began calling the district and the City of Woodinville wanting to know if it is true that they will be forced to hook up to the sewer system to pay for the Brightwater treatment plant.

The WWD held public meetings,  published  an article, and updated an old resolution to clarify to its customers your assertions are false and their concerns are unfounded.

A great deal has been made of the fact the state has granted sewer districts the authority to require hookups to the public sewer system.

While the district has had that authority for decades it has never used it and has no intention of doing so unless an overriding public interest requires it to act, such as a public health emergency. Connection to its sewer system is completely voluntary.

Also, the WWD has no plans whatsoever of extending sewer lines into the rural areas; it would be a violation of state law to do so.

At a recent City of Woodinville public meeting the staff and council members discussed citizen concerns that have been communicated to them as a result of your assertions.

It should be noted the state has also granted cities the authority to require new developments to connect to sewer systems as part of their permitting process, however the City of Woodinville has never done so and has not expressed any intent to do so.

Connection to the sewer system is voluntary as long as a septic system is viable. Both the WWD and the City of Woodinville share this same policy.

The public meeting also clarified that the Woodinville-Duvall Road improvement project does not contain a sewer line, only a replacement water line.

The city manager  also pointed out expanding sewers into the rural areas is prohibited by state law.

King County, in a very unusual move, published a 3-page letter on September 13 responding to the inaccurate assertions being made by both Mr. Stecker and Mr. Vermeulen regarding King County requiring WWD customers to connect to the district’s sewer system.

They also point out wastewater treatment services can only be provided in designated urban growth boundaries, with very few exceptions.

Ken Goodwin, Woodinville Water District


The Woodinville Water District has the authority to force you to connect to sewers. It’s that simple.

The facts surrounding mandated sewer connections are set by resolutions written and passed by the Woodinville Water District commissioners. These resolutions are optional and not mandated by state law.

They set the authority of the WWD — not the city, not the county.

Is there a regulation created by the Woodinville Water District that can force you to hook up to sewer. The answer is YES. I will explain how that can affect you.

Originally resolution #3027 clearly stated that you “shall connect owners’ premises to the public sewer whenever (1) there is a public sewer within 300 feet of the nearest improvement to be connected to such sewer on said premises.”  Even if you had a functioning septic system.

This was modified by resolution #3725 in July that made the ease of forcing a connection even easier.

The part of 3725 that is never quoted says: “... a property owner may be required to connect the owner’s premises to the District sewer system when ... there is an overriding issue of public interest.” Even if you had a functioning septic system.

What is this undefined “public interest” that the water district can use to force you to connect?

What does it mean? I don’t know and no answer is forthcoming from WWD. It’s never mentioned in any public discussion.

That no one has yet been forced to hook up is like saying that no forced water connections were made in 1959.

However that soon changed with growth and many home owners endured costly legal battles, especially Hollywood Hill around 1992. This is the history of the Woodinville Water District — change.

Now we have a sewage plant that never existed before — change.

The character of Woodinville is reflected by the city motto “Country Living, City Style,” a motto that is embraced by most citizens within and without the city.

Resolutions such as 3725 directly endanger those that embrace that motto by removing any form of protection from future forced changes.

It’s that simple.

Jack Vermeulen, candidate for Woodinville Water commissioner

 

CHANGE

Over the course of the last 10 years, this country has sent to Washington, D.C., possibly the worst litter of politicians in my lifetime — overpaid, over perked and under worked.

On the other side of the country is a little hamlet called Woodinville that has politicians who are underpaid, under perked and overworked at the city council and some of our infrastructure districts such as water and fire.

So if we skip the city council in this piece, why is there so much commotion going on at both the water and fire districts?

I think it’s because the tax and rate payers are starting to sniff some mighty poor management and a seeming disregard for the large sums of coin we contribute to these two districts that are run almost like a fiefdom.

Why is it so difficult to keep track of what is being done by both districts? Are we, the coin givers, considered as marginal? On the water side I don’t see the district making videos of meetings available to the rate payers. It can be difficult for the public to attend. The meetings that are held at 6 p.m. are not rate-payer friendly. Why is that? But wait, it gets worse on the fire side.

The fire district schedules its meetings at 5 p.m, right smack dab at the end of a typical work day and then goes into executive session, time and again, which excludes the public.

Why so many executive sessions? Are we, the taxpayers, not bright enough to grasp the issues they talk about behind closed doors? Not taxpayer friendly!  Why is that? Get this: it’s 2011 and they too, don’t video tape their meetings?

For your information, the council holds their meetings at 7 p.m. and are entirely videotaped.

You get to see the love shown at the dais, between city council members on your computer or on TV  24 hours a day.

Now that’s public access to the process.

Both the fire and water districts are involved in elections coming up in November.  They are contentious and a lot of accusations are starting to fly back and forth — so contentious, that even a King County director has recently involved herself to defend a couple of incumbents in the water district. It’s still not clear if that’s even legal. Neighborhood concerns about forced sewer hookups to Brightwater and the protection of R-1 are real and growing. These concerns have been deepened recently with the passage by the current water district commissioners of resolution 3725 which states “The District has statutory authority to COMPEL property owners to connect to the sewer system. You can bet this, it does bother a lot of property owners. I mean, in my mind, the question is, WHO IS going to pay for Brightwater if not its neighbor Woodinville? Are we a target or not? I hear lip service from county people that we are not targets, yet there is this nagging fear that that’s not really true. The point here, is that these two districts are once again above the radar and in the news it seems daily.

And how about that fire district? They make an offer to the former fire chief which is more than many of us would have offered and now he has countered?

Since I can’t make it to the early meeting times of this tax payer unfriendly district, let me say here that there are a lot of folks in Woodinville who would say that if Daniels rejects our gratuitous severance offer, then there will be no more offers. Fair is fair! For nearly 26 of my 28 years in Woodinville, except for an election, you never heard boo about the fire district — that is until they asked for more coin from the people. Now they are in the news daily, just like the water district.

You tend to cringe when the word “change” is used in today’s environment, but come this November I will exercise my right to vote for just that, in the fire and water districts’ election, CHANGE!

Steve Maloney, Woodinville

 

WOODINVILLE FIRE & RESCUE

The firefighters of Woodinville Fire and Rescue may soon be knocking on your door – not in response to a fire or medical emergency, but to inform you about how you can help create positive change in the fire district. These firefighters are encouraging voters to elect Mark Emery for Woodinville fire commissioner.

It’s time for a change at the elected board level. The incumbent, Clint Olson, is asking for another six-year term in spite of the damage that has been done to the fire district in the wake of the current board’s bad decisions and ill-advised policies.

Mr. Olson has recently overseen the closing of a fire station, as well as the reduction in firefighters and other service providers. Public education has been eliminated and fire prevention has been essentially dismantled. While these sacrifices have been made, Mr. Olson endorsed a dramatic increase in non-essential administrative executive staff, bloating the budget even as more essential services and personnel are cut.

Commissioner Olson advocated for the many unpopular policies and decisions carried out by former fire chief, David Daniels. And although the former chief has been replaced, the problems he embodied are still alive and well as the current board struggles to change course.

Additionally, the fire district will soon be facing an annexation by the City of Bothell. This could have similar impacts to the Woodinville fire department as the Kirkland annexation, resulting in lost revenue and a reduction in services and emergency responders. With competent and careful leadership at the elected level, however, creative and collaborative solutions can be found and essential services could be maintained.

It has become clear that there is only one way to make real, lasting and positive change to the Woodinville fire district — by electing the right person to the contested position in the current election.

This is your chance to change and improve the Woodinville Fire Commission and send the clear message that WE CAN DO BETTER. Vote for Mark Emery for fire commissioner.

Mr. Emery has the knowledge, experience and oversight philosophy to return the Woodinville fire department to its core mission – providing public education and fire prevention, as well as fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the community of Woodinville.

If we happen to knock on your door, thank you for your time and consideration. It is an honor to serve you!

Paul Peterson, treasurer, Local 2950, Woodinville Firefighters

 

After attending many commissioner meetings and reading many articles and editorials about the recently departed fire chief at Woodinville Fire, I feel it is time to express my thoughts and concerns. I devoted 32 years to the Woodinville Fire Department as a volunteer and retired at the time that Chief Daniels was hired. The board of fire commissioners is the body that represents the citizens of the community in the operations of the fire department and in turn directs the chief as to the direction they would like to see the department take, as mentioned in Chief Daniels’ interview with the Woodinville Weekly the week of July 26 2011.

During my time as a volunteer, I was a part of the change from an all volunteer department to a fully paid professional department. Woodinville Fire over the years has been recognized as a very proactive department by many surrounding departments.

At the time that I retired, the board of fire commissioners had just “gutted” the entire executive staff at Woodinville to include the fire chief, two deputy chiefs and the executive secretary.

Chief Daniels was hired from Renton and I must say I am utterly appalled that the board of fire commissioners allowed the fire department to be totally dismantled in just 18 months.

I think it is time that they are held accountable for their actions.

Below is a list of their accomplishments since hiring Chief Daniels.

1) Eliminated 6 of the 7 positions in fire prevention and plans review.

2) Eliminated almost all of the inspections by the fire department which allowed the personnel to identify safety and code issues before they cost someone their life.

3) Pulled out of a regional fire training program with Kirkland and Redmond. Involvement in this program helps reduce costs by combining efforts of three departments towards the cost of training.

4) Damaged relations with the City of Woodinville.

5) Lost its international accreditation which took years to achieve. Very few departments have achieved this accreditation.

6) Eliminated the public educator’s position which was instrumental in developing and implementing community safety programs.

7) Brought morale of the department to an all-time low which was demonstrated by the union’s unanimous vote of no confidence in Chief Daniels.

8) Took away all line personnel involvement in the budgeting process which actually was one of the reasons in the past the department was able to grow and provide the level of service our community deserves.

9) Hired three additional administrative positions that did not exist under the previous chief: a finance manager, an emergency manager and a personal secretary for the chief.

10)  Changed the name to Woodinville Fire & Rescue at a cost of several thousand dollars while eliminating two key components from the name for which the department does most: “Life and Safety.”

11) Greatly increased the response times to the area of Station 34 which was closed as a result of annexation into Kirkland.

The board knew several years in advance that this was occurring yet no action was taken to provide some form of coverage or an alternative location somewhere in the valley.

12) To my knowledge a lawsuit filed by the previously ousted Chief Johnson has still not been settled and who knows what this may cost the taxpayer. I also suspect that some sort of severance package will be paid to Chief Daniels as the result of his recent unexpected departure.

13) Lastly I would urge the “ENTIRE” board to interview all final chief candidates and hire a chief who will take ownership with the department and not one who is away on speaking engagements earning additional money at our expense. It is my understanding that only two commissioners interviewed Chief Daniels when he was hired.

If as a citizen you are happy with the way your fire department is being run, then you have the right board of fire commissioners.

f you are not happy, then your vote can change this in November.

Chuck Royal,citizen and retired volunteer of Woodinville Fire

Letters to the Editor - September 26, 2011

  • Written by Readers

Homeowners initiate; governments authorize

Much is being said about the authority of the Woodinville Water District during my re-election campaign. There is passionate public debate about forced connections to the sewer system.

If your home is serviced by a healthy and working septic system, no one will bother you about your septic system.

In practice, the water district is a business of pumps and pipes that operates and maintains the water and sewer systems.

In application, the district is just one step in a permit process that is administered by one of the local governing bodies, i.e., the cities of Bothell,  Kirkland, Redmond  and Woodinville, or King County (for the unincorporated areas), that are within the  district’s boundaries.

The permit process is kicked off by the homeowner who wants to remodel or construct a building.

The first step is to apply for a permit with the governing body that has jurisdiction.  If the governing body, which has the permitting authority over the homeowner’s property, deems a project needs to connect to the sewer system, then the homeowner contacts the water district to determine if sewer service is available for that property.

Next, the homeowner returns to the governing body to complete the course of action resulting in a building permit being issued.

Clearly, this is a homeowner-initiated process from start to finish.

Governmental agencies deal directly with the homeowner. Woodinville Water District is not directed by these governmental agencies to connect people to the sewer system.

The entire course of action of connecting to sewers is a homeowner-initiated process between the homeowner and their city or the county.

Karen Steeb, Woodinville Water District commissioner

 

Explanation requested

As a member of the  Woodinville Board of Fire Commissioners for Woodinville Fire   & Rescue, Clint Olson is tasked with ensuring that taxpayer resources are used appropriately and to safeguard them against waste and fraud.

Given that, why would Commissioner Olson give approximately $500,000 to the Summit Law Group over the past two years — yes, half a million dollars of a relatively small fire district budget in a poor economy —and tell them that they do not WANT an itemized receipt?  How are the citizens better protected by giving lawyers free access to the checkbook?

When Commissioner Olson and the Board of Commissioners signed the contract with Summit Law Group, a section was purposely inserted into the contract that stated they would only be provided with “summary” billing.

This means that the bills contain an amount, say $18,000, but no record of how that figure was obtained.

Most attorneys don’t bill this way — their clients expect itemized billing.

The commissioners then approve the bill without any question of what they are being billed FOR.

How can they assure the citizens that the bill is correct? Furthermore, how can they possibly justify this massive expense in legal fees?

The Woodinville fire fighters and others have requested itemized legal bills.  To this date, none have been provided.

We have found it highly unusual for a fire district to retain an attorney for a long term without any specific reason; to spend such exorbitant amounts on legal fees; and to continually pay huge legal fees without any knowledge or explanation of what the district is being charged for.

That is why I offer Commissioner Olson an opportunity to explain how spending large, blanket amounts of taxpayer dollars to an attorney provides better protection to the community.  Since Clint Olson is asking for the taxpayers to vote for him, I think they deserve an explanation.

Greg Garat

Executive Board Member

IAFF Local 2950


What constitutes a fitness walk and a P.E. class?

As a resident of the Northshore School District and someone who works in downtown Woodinville, I would pose this question to the district, administration and the physical education instructors.

On days that Woodinville has “block days” (two hour classes alternating on Wednesday and Thursday) PE students have been given the option to partake in a “fitness walk” through downtown Woodinville.

Students “en- mass” walk from the high school through the downtown corridor and back to the high school.

The permission slips state that they can bring money for snacks.

From the perspective of a taxpayer, I wonder if the teachers pay is reflective of this non-teaching time.  From the perspective of a business person, I wonder if the students are supervised. From the perspective of a parent, I wonder what they are buying.

The reality is that the students are in groups of 1-5 walking with no real purpose through downtown. They are stopping at Top Foods where they are loading up on donuts and Monsters.

My favorite this week was the basket with three packages of cookies and two Rockstars. They are going to Jamba Juice and Starbucks buying giant-sized beverages.

It is not an aerobic walk.There are no teachers or supervision that I could see on the two days I witnessed it, and it poses the questions of what is the curriculum?

I guess the most disturbing part is I was told that the students were told if they didn’t bring in the permission slip and therefore couldn’t go on the walks, they would spend their time in the library.

K. Brady, Woodinville

Homeowners initiate; governments authorize
Much is being said about the authority of the Woodinville Water District during my re-election campaign. There is passionate public debate about forced connections to the sewer system.
If your home is serviced by a healthy and working septic system, no one will bother you about your septic system.  
In practice, the water district is a business of pumps and pipes that operates and maintains the water and sewer systems.
In application, the district is just one step in a permit process that is administered by one of the local governing bodies, i.e., the cities of Bothell,  Kirkland, Redmond  and Woodinville, or King County (for the unincorporated areas), that are within the  district’s boundaries.
The permit process is kicked off by the homeowner who wants to remodel or construct a building.  
The first step is to apply for a permit with the governing body that has jurisdiction.  If the governing body, which has the permitting authority over the homeowner’s property, deems a project needs to connect to the sewer system, then the homeowner contacts the water district to determine if sewer service is available for that property.  
Next, the homeowner returns to the governing body to complete the course of action resulting in a building permit being issued.  
Clearly, this is a homeowner-initiated process from start to finish.
Governmental agencies deal directly with the homeowner. Woodinville Water District is not directed by these governmental agencies to connect people to the sewer system.
The entire course of action of connecting to sewers is a homeowner-initiated process between the homeowner and their city or the county.
Karen Steeb, Woodinville Water District commissioner


Explanation requested
As a member of the  Woodinville Board of Fire Commissioners for Woodinville Fire   & Rescue, Clint Olson is tasked with ensuring that taxpayer resources are used appropriately and to safeguard them against waste and fraud. 
Given that, why would Commissioner Olson give approximately $500,000 to the Summit Law Group over the past two years — yes, half a million dollars of a relatively small fire district budget in a poor economy —and tell them that they do not WANT an itemized receipt?  How are the citizens better protected by giving lawyers free access to the checkbook?
When Commissioner Olson and the Board of Commissioners signed the contract with Summit Law Group, a section was purposely inserted into the contract that stated they would only be provided with “summary” billing.
This means that the bills contain an amount, say $18,000, but no record of how that figure was obtained.
Most attorneys don’t bill this way — their clients expect itemized billing.
The commissioners then approve the bill without any question of what they are being billed FOR.
How can they assure the citizens that the bill is correct? Furthermore, how can they possibly justify this massive expense in legal fees?
The Woodinville fire fighters and others have requested itemized legal bills.  To this date, none have been provided.
We have found it highly unusual for a fire district to retain an attorney for a long term without any specific reason; to spend such exorbitant amounts on legal fees; and to continually pay huge legal fees without any knowledge or explanation of what the district is being charged for.
That is why I offer Commissioner Olson an opportunity to explain how spending large, blanket amounts of taxpayer dollars to an attorney provides better protection to the community.  Since Clint Olson is asking for the taxpayers to vote for him, I think they deserve an explanation.
Greg Garat
Executive Board Member
IAFF Local 2950



What constitutes a fitness walk and a P.E. class?
As a resident of the Northshore School District and someone who works in downtown Woodinville, I would pose this question to the district, administration and the physical education instructors.
On days that Woodinville has “block days” (two hour classes alternating on Wednesday and Thursday) PE students have been given the option to partake in a “fitness walk” through downtown Woodinville.
Students “en- mass” walk from the high school through the downtown corridor and back to the high school.  
The permission slips state that they can bring money for snacks.
From the perspective of a taxpayer, I wonder if the teachers pay is reflective of this non-teaching time.  From the perspective of a business person, I wonder if the students are supervised. From the perspective of a parent, I wonder what they are buying.
The reality is that the students are in groups of 1-5 walking with no real purpose through downtown. They are stopping at Top Foods where they are loading up on donuts and Monsters.
My favorite this week was the basket with three packages of cookies and two Rockstars. They are going to Jamba Juice and Starbucks buying giant-sized beverages.  
It is not an aerobic walk.There are no teachers or supervision that I could see on the two days I witnessed it, and it poses the questions of what is the curriculum?
I guess the most disturbing part is I was told that the students were told if they didn’t bring in the permission slip and therefore couldn’t go on the walks, they would spend their time in the library.
K. Brady, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - September 19, 2011

  • Written by Readers

FIRE COMMISSIONER

A review of the articles and comments over the last year regarding the Woodinville fire district reveals the fact that the issues of great concern to the Woodinville firefighters also resonate with the public at large.

The firefighters of Woodinville began a campaign to educate the public about the direction of the fire district as soon as they saw that the decisions and policies being put in place by the Board of Fire Commissioners and the former fire chief were having a negative impact on the services they were able to provide to the community.

The fire district closed a fire station and laid off firefighters while it added to the size of the administrative executive staff, including a personal assistant to the fire chief. Other new staff positions added were the deputy chief of safety and risk management, finance manager and the emergency manager.

The Woodinville fire district may be the only fire department in the country that hires a personal secretary for its fire chief while at the same time laying-off firefighters.

The Woodinville fire district eliminated the public educator position, as well as most positions in the office of Fire Prevention and Community Risk Reduction.

It compromised its responsibility to provide adequate fire and emergency medical services to the Hollywood Hill area after the closure of the Kingsgate fire station.

And finally, it raised the tax rate for the entire district. What a bitter pill for the citizens of Hollywood Hill – a higher tax rate and less coverage!

At the center of all these decisions is the staunch supporter of the former fire chief and these dubious policies — Woodinville Fire Commissioner Clint Olson. Mr. Olson’s term is up this year and he is running as the incumbent for another six-year term.

Mr. Olson does not say much in the public forum during BOFC meetings, but when the firefighters began making public their concerns about a year ago, he made a special statement where he declared his support for Chief Daniels and the much derided policies of the Woodinville fire district.

He stated, “As the immediate past chair of this board, I thought it essential to share with you my unequivocal support of Chief Daniels and his administration. Government boards cannot be effective unless their management team works to advance the board’s policy decisions.”

Clearly a new direction is needed at the board level. The Woodinville fire district cannot afford another six years of this kind of leadership.

Please vote for Mark Emery for Woodinville Fire Commissioner.

He has the experience, knowledge, and the right oversight philosophy to return the Woodinville fire district to its core mission – the provision of public education, fire-prevention, fire suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services to the community of Woodinville.

Ted Klinkenberg

Executive Board

Local 2950, Woodinville Firefighters

Guest Editorial - Emergency Preparedness

  • Written by from Woodinville Fire & Rescue

“Be prepared for at least three days in the event an emergency or disaster causes you to be self-reliant,” Dee Totten, Woodinville Fire & Rescue Emergency Manager stated. “Everyone should be ready to function independently for a minimum of three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket and possibly without response from police, fire or rescue.”

Family members should also have a plan for how they will respond and reconnect after an emergency or disaster — remember, cell phone communications are usually jammed quickly after an emergency or disaster.

Totten, participating along with City of Woodinville’s Administrative Team, Alexandra Sheeks and Zach Schmitz, are in the midst of a public relations campaign to get the “Preparedness” message out to citizens as part of September’s National Preparedness Month. The trio is currently distributing information on emergency preparedness to our community.

“Preparedness is a shared responsibility,” Totten said. “It takes a whole community. This September marks the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. We will remember those lost, honor our first responders and renew our commitment to prepare and plan for emergencies and disasters.

“Being prepared means staying informed, knowing how to get information and alerts from local, state and federal agencies and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them,” Totten said. “We’re taking steps as an organization to become better prepared and to help you prepare, and we urge you to take time to do the same at home, at work, for your car and for your pets to create a more disaster resistant community.”

What should individuals and families have in an emergency supply kit? Here are some of the suggested items:

— One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking, and 5 gallons to include sanitation needs;

— At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and non-electric can opener, for foods that you like to eat;

— Wind-up or battery-powered radio and a NOAA weather radio (have extra batteries for both);

—  Lightsticks or flashlight and extra batteries;

— Whistle to signal for help;

— Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place (protection from air-born contaminants);

— Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;

— Medical information, prescription medications and extra glasses;

— Cash; and

— Local maps.

Those are the basics, but some items citizens may also want to consider adding are:

— Infant formula and diapers and special supplies for the elderly;

— Pet food and extra water for your pet;

— Copies of important family documents (insurance policies, identification, bank records);

— First aid material

— Sleeping bag or warm blanket;

— Complete change of clothing, including a long-sleeve shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes, additional clothes in cold-weather climates (get ready for winter);

—Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (In an emergency you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleachers with added cleaners);

— Fire extinguisher and know how to work one (PASS system);

— Matches in a waterproof container;

— Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities;

— Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items;

— Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels;

— Paper and pencils; and

— Books, games, puzzles and other activities for children.

Individuals and families should also consider having additional emergency kits — one full kit for home and a smaller portable kit to “grab & go” if required to leave the home quickly — one to have in the workplace and one for your vehicle(s).

The City of Woodinville currently has a Preparedness display case presentation in City Hall for citizens who want to view it first hand during September, National Preparedness Month.

Woodinville Fire & Rescue will hold a Safety Fair on October 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Station 31, the Main Fire Station, at 17718 Woodinville Snohomish Road. All citizens are welcome to attend to learn more about all-hazards preparedness and participate in some fun activities.

Please look for more website information in the weeks ahead about our 2011 Safety Fair special features.

More preparedness information and sources are available from websites such as:

Federal: www.ready.gov; State of Washington: http://www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/prep_personal_preparedness.shtml;  King County: http://3days3ways.org.

Letters to the Editor - Sept. 5, 2010

  • Written by Readers

NEW POLICE BEAT WRITER IS DOING A GREAT JOB

I would like to say that I am very happy to have a new writer for the Police Beat section.

Maggie Inahara has been able to fill some very talented and entertaining shoes after the departure of Kelly.

We are a local business here in Woodinville so we receive the weekly addition of the paper and whether I have time at work or while getting my hair cut at Great Clips in town, I always particularly enjoyed this section as it always brought a smile to my day. Just wanted to say thank you and keep up the good work!

Michell Wellwood, Operations Manager, TW Metals, Inc., Woodinville

 

TRANSPARENCY IS A CORNERSTONE

Dear Woodinville Fire and Rescue Commissioners,

As taxpayers in the Woodinville Fire District we have been following with interest the financial obligations of the district to its former chief, I. David Daniels.

Our concern is that the district entered into a contract with Mr. Daniels that was very prescriptive regarding financial compensation upon termination of the contract.

Our concern is that a settlement may be reached which grants Mr. Daniels more compensation than is prescribed. In the end, the cost of the added compensation would be borne by the taxpayers.

We expect full disclosure of any financial agreements made with Chief Daniel’s legal team regarding his separation from the district. That would include the terms of the agreement, and a comparison to Daniels’ current contract, which is still in force as of this date.

Transparency is a cornerstone of open governing.

We expect that Richard Mitchell, the fire district’s attorney, would agree, noting that transparency is one of his candidacy platforms in his bid for office as a King County council member.

We hope that the district’s taxpayers will be proud of how the commissioners resolve these negotiations.

Steve Maloney, Jim Hartman, Paul Bonifaci, Peter Tountas, Sharon Peterson, Hank Stecker, Phil Relnik