Letters to the Editor - April 1, 2013

  • Written by Readers

Wellington Hills SEPA Report is now up for review. It’s imperative that we make our views known, now, while the hearings are being held.

Currently, the Snohomish Council members are being hoodwinked by the Parks department. Whatever revenue, that supposedly would be generated by a sports complex, would be over-shadowed by the costs it would generate for the City of Woodinville, King and Snohomish counties and the taxpayers.

Our small rural park-zoned R5-nestled within a residential neighborhood on the Snohomish/King County line is being sacrificed by short-sighted politicians and vested interests within the Parks & Recreation Dept.

The park is located in rolling hills on a very steep, windy half-mile road that terminates into a two-lane rural road on the east and  on the west that was not built to handle anything but local traffic.

Access to this park is so limited that gridlock would result if this park were to be used as a destination for the type of development that is proposed.

If this is built the City of Woodinville, King and Snohomish counties and the taxpayers will be stuck for the cost of revising the roads and sewer system to accommodate this assault to our serene community. Sewer-hook-up alone would cost each home-owner $25,000- $30,000, not to mention the property tax increases!.

Instead, a modest unobtrusive rural park would be an appropriate and financially responsible addition to our community, i.e. walking trails,picnic tables, and a playground for neighborhood children. The plan for the Brightwater mitigation funds should not be used to create an destructive and expensive burden to our community, as this proposed sports complex would indeed turn out to be. But this is what we’ll  end up with if the Snohomish County councilmen don’t hear from their constituents opposing this boondoggle.

Email or write your elected Snohomish Council members before the end of this month while the SEPA hearing are the docket. Make your voice heard now or live with the consequences later.

James Dalecke, Woodinville

Copy of a letter sent to Tom Teigen, Snohomish County parks director

I am a longtime resident of the Wellington neighbourhood, which we were drawn to by the magnificent natural beauty and tranquility of the land and trees.

Over the last 10 years, this proud neighbourhood has withstood continued pressure from land developers, in partnership with King and Snohomish counties, to rezone and develop our beloved neighbourhood into another glorified suburb of Seattle, akin to Kirkland and other surrounding areas south of us.

Now, yet another potential threat has been proposed to our precious environment in the form of the development of the Wellington Park into a large multi-purpose sports and recreational facility with a 750 car parking lot and 100,000 square feet of commercial building space. I am very concerned about these proposed plans.

Although we have children who are active in a variety of sports activities, as do many of my neighbours, I strongly am opposed to the development of such an intrusive sports facility which impacts the natural settings of our local community.

Old growth cedar trees in the Wellington Park are not only a symbol of natural beauty and home to many birds and animals, but serve as an important wind and sound protection to our neighbourhood. These trees will be destroyed when the clear cutting starts.

Noise, night light pollution, ground water run-off from the paved parking lots and artificial turf fields down the hillside to the salmon-bearing stream below in Little Bear Creek will detrimentally change the local environment forever.

Have you visited our community and seen our local country roads? We do not have the infrastructure to support the huge influx of automobiles that will descend upon the area once the proposed sports facility is completed.

I urge you to reconsider the proposed plans for the development of the sports facility and, instead, work towards a more environmentally well balanced development of the Wellington Park allowing the richness of the local area to survive.

Lee Capell, Woodinville

[This is a copy of a letter sent to Ken Howe, president of the Woodinville Water  District Board of Commisioners]

I just talked with your customer service and would like to express my displeasure of your processes that are putting renters like us into difficult situations, and subject to additional cost, which is not acceptable in todays difficult economy.

We moved into our rental home in September and tried to register as users to pay our water/sewer usage (as we have always done).

We were told that you do not do that, and that billing stays with the owners of the home. This made us dependent on receiving the bills from them, and since moving in we received one bill from them (late) which we paid.

Last Friday we received a disconnection notice and a $20 penalty. This would make sense if we were negligent in paying our bill, but we never received a bill ...  and were told by your customer service that we have to battle this out with the landlord, who of course has obligations, etc., etc...

This is not a fair practice in my opinion. I am sure we are not the only customer that is being disadvantaged by this rule. We have no intention of not paying our bills on time but are hit with penalties because we don’t even know what our bill is, when it’s due, etc.

First thing I know is a shut-off notice and a penalty that amounts to over 10 percent added cost.

Your rules of refusing to even send the end-user a copy of the bill directly, but sticking us with penalties that we of course have to pay, or battle the landlord, is not a customer friendly rule.

Yes .... the breakdown is either with the owner of the house, or possibly the mail system, but we are the ones that are penalized...!

I hope that you will review your billing policies to remove the problem, or relieve the penalties from the innocent.

Udo Gaag, Woodinville



A big thank you to all you Woodinville Weekly readers. Your donation of blankets, sheets and electric blankets has enabled the Grange’s volunteers to make sleeping bags for 13 years, and now we’re beginning our 14th year.

There have been over 500 made and delivered to the homeless tent cities in the county, to people at Pioneer Square, churches, low-cost housing at Sandpoint and to the Coast Guard building at the waterfront deck in Seattle where over 200 men get to stay.

A high school girl made a video of the procedure of making a quilt from the beginning and including the rolled-up quilt tied with two neckties for easy carrying.

The Union Gospel Mission has taken the delivery job on, where in the beginning a volunteer man in Seattle delivered them to Pioneer Square when he brought five gallons of soup and sandwiches on Sundays.

If local residents hadn’t been so helpful we couldn’t have made these badly needed sleeping bags. At this time we are in need of upholstery material for the ouside covering. Sheets, blankets and neckties are also most welcome.

Visitors are always welcome but call the Grange at (425) 398-3701 on a Tuesday morning after 10 a.m.

Helen McMahon, Woodinville

I am a fifth grade student. My class and I are learning about the United States. To help us learn as much as we can, we are trying to collect as many postcards as possible from around the country. Please send a postcard from your state to add to our collection. Send the card to: Gregory, c/o Mr. Neevel’s class, Brinckerhoff Elementary School, 16 Wedgewood Rd., Fishkill, NY 12524. Thank you, in advance, for your help with our project.

Sincerely, Gregory

I want to thank the 5th grade students of Wellington Elementary and specifically the following:  Bilaal Ahmad, Maya Bhat, Olivia Anderson, Sophia Chiesa and Sally Beaudette.

It is very inspiring to see the youth of the area take part in local causes that affect their community.

By becoming involved you are shaping your community into an area for yourself and your neighbors. I hope all of you remain active on this issue and we develop a community that you and future generations will be proud of.

I grew up in this community and became active in events that were shaping it when I was your age.  I am proud to see you become interested in local issues.

Thank you for taking the time to do research and put your thoughts, and ideas into print.  It is inspiring to me to see your energy about Wellington Park.  It makes me think of the words of Louis Armstrong, “I hear babies cry, I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

Todd Bailey

Letters to the Editor - March 25, 2013

  • Written by Readers

I’m compelled to counter statements Mr. Bailey of “Neighbors to Save Wellington Park” (Letters to the Editor, March 4 edition of the Woodinville Weekly) made because I believe they are false, misguided and intended to stop the development of what is sure to be a spectacular community asset for generations to come.

First, the Wellington Park plan is not “highly controversial.” It is a well thought-out vetted plan that leaves fully 75 percent of the site natural/open green space. This community park is not in violation of the Growth Management Act, the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) or the Snohomish County Parks Comprehensive Plan as Mr. Bailey submits. That is simply a false statement.

Second, Snohomish County had every right to demolish structures on the site. The structures were dilapidated, posed a public hazard, were being vandalized and improperly accessed and certainly not on any historic registries.  Snohomish County acquired all the proper permits and in no way did demolishing those old ugly buildings pose a limitation on alternatives under SEPA. The intent of 197-11-070(1)(b) is to forbid the construction of permanent structures on a site prior to SEPA approval.

But speaking of alternatives available to Snohomish County, the Council could still decide that a park isn’t in the best interest of the county. Since Snohomish County is in violation of the Fair Share Housing Allocation, thousands [of]low-income housing units could be constructed on that site to bring the county into compliance. According to the 2025 steering committee update, the Growth Management Act mandates identification of sufficient land for all types of housing with parameters for the distribution of affordable housing.

In addition, the CPP HO-4 requires that elected leaders prevent the concentration of low-income and special needs housing in a few areas.

My understanding is there are 83,918 households projected to be cost burdened in Snohomish County, with 53 percent of the need allocated to unincorporated areas or roughly 44,476 households.  The south end of Snohomish County has the least available low-income housing in unincorporated areas, and given the requirements for distribution, Snohomish County must provide low income housing for approximately 20,000 families.

The Wellington site would clearly be the best location available had the park plan not already been well underway.  A roof over head is much more important to decision makers than parks and recreation.

If the Snohomish County Council gets too much legal pressure about the Wellington Park plan there is a great likelihood that the Council could pull the plug on the park plan and alternatively capitalize on the site at its highest and best use.

I might also add, that the added expense of countering legal action proposed by this small group of Wellington residents that fight every great development that happens in our region if they don’t get their way, will likely be a factor in the Council’s consideration of moving forward with this park, despite the fact that they have miraculously secured park development funding already.

The fact is, acquiring financing for a great park is 10 times harder than for low-income housing (think Federal Block grants here, folks).  There are no sources of funding comparable to block grants for park developments.

I would hope that those folks opposed to the park development can see the handwriting on the wall and band together in an effort to support the Snohomish County Parks Department and staff immediately before it’s too late.

Otherwise they might just save Wellington Park for a major housing development where 100 percent of the green space is developed complete with sewer hookups from Brightwater, and we lose a great park opportunity forever. And that is the truth.

Kristen Rose, Woodinville

In the March 18 letters to the editor section, the Wellington Elementary writers were incorrectly identified.The first letter was written by Olivia Anderson, the second was written by Sophia Chiesa, the third letter was written by Sally Beaudette and the fourth letter was by Maya Bhat.The editor apologizes for the error.

Letters to the Editor - March 18, 2013

  • Written by Readers

Ed. Note: The following letters were written by 5th graders at Wellington Elementary School and are either in favor of or against the Wellington Hills County Park.

Imagine having a park in your neighborhood, yet you don’t have to worry about traffic, noise and lights. There is a way that makes that possible. It’s that the Wellington Hills County Park is built on a smaller scale. Less people, less traffic, less noise, and if you reduce the number of soccer fields to three or four, then fewer lights. It will be able to satisfy both sides of the argument.

Todd Bailey, a neighbor, said, “We are asking you to downsize.” Think of all the loss of green area. Besides, the Brightwater agreement only called for 40 acres. 100 acres is over twice that amount. Wellington might not even be suitable for the kind of park that is going to be built. Bailey has long maintained that his group is not opposed to a sports park where the golf course used to be; they just don’t want one of this size and scope. The large regional sports complex that’s planned has some neighbors worried. “The proposed project promises to make our lives worse, not better,” says Bailey.

Then again, maybe not as many people will come to a smaller version of Wellington Hills County Park. But what if you could add a pool or tennis courts in place of a couple soccer fields?

Shy dogs might not want to go to a dog park if they have to be with big dogs, but the one dog park can have multiple trails and plenty of trees and bushes to separate big dogs and shy dogs without having two dog parks.

Having fewer parking spaces could be a problem too if there isn’t a space for everyone. But there’s a simple solution: You can carpool, take buses or walk ...

And it could be a shame not to have as many picnic areas, but the picnic areas will likely be nicer and there will not be as much litter if there is a smaller area to pick up.

The mountain biking facility will be 60,000 square feet. With a mountain biking facility so large, injuries will happen more frequently than if you had a smaller mountain biking facility. Fewer injuries are better, right?

Don’t you see that down-sizing is a way to compromise? This is a way that everyone can get what they want!

Bilaal Ahmad

Dear Editor,

Have you had those boring, lazy days? Soon, you could be having fun with your family at Wellington Hills County Park!

Some of the features include playgrounds, multi-use fields, indoor/outdoor mountain biking, picnic tables, trails, lockers, dog parks, large parking lots and more.

Many of these features are needed in that area.

... There will be no water run-off because the park designers have moved the parking lot so that there is no run-off.

People are worried about sanitary issues around the dog parks and throughout the park, but the park designers will place garbage cans and dog waste stations throughout the park.

A few neighbors wouldn’t like to have to drive through the park every day to get to and from their houses, but there is an alternative route for them to take.

Some people wouldn’t like the trees to be cut down, but half of the acres will remain wooded, so half of the trees will stay right where they are. In fact, many of these trees will be blocking the neighbors’ view of the lights so it won’t bother them. People have recently decided to change the plan for the dog parks and save over 200 trees.

... There is also a requirement [the park] be within four miles of the Brightwater plant and be at least 40 acres.

Some neighbors are worried about crime increasing in that area when the park is built, but the park designers plan to add lights in dark places so it will be safer.

The park designers will build a sidewalk along the roads so neighbors can walk to the park. Some people are worried about traffic issues in that area, but they will also be revising the roads by adding a left turn lane on 240th at the intersection of Snohomish-Woodinville Road.

I hope you can agree with me that this park will be worth it. The Wellington Hills County Park is safe, great for all ages and welcomes everyone!

Maya Bhat

I am against the building of the Wellington Hills County Park — a lot. Please do not build it!

I really don’t think the park will be beneficial! The property values will go down  and nobody will be able to get anywhere with all the zooming cars and/or traffic! It will be complete pandemonium!

You are building an extremely expensive facility, judging by the many proposed add-ons you require as part of this massive facility. I have seen a lot of impartial or upset comments through many sources and next to no pleased ones.

Also, the trees that you claim will block the view of the light pole will lose their leaves, allowing visibility of the pole. Sure, there are shorter conifers in front of the pole, but they will take years to grow tall enough to block it.

... What if we build the park on a smaller scale, or in a location where it helps more people — in a neighborhood without a good park existing nearby,or over an old, scummy park.

Actually, you could just build it, but smaller, more appropriate for a suburban neighborhood. Perhaps only one dog park with bushes, berms, and small, shallow trenches to separate large and small dogs, and for dogs to play in ...

You could also build two or three soccer fields instead of seven, and build a mini-café or snow-cone stand so that you still make enough profit.

Another huge concern of mine is the homes of animals that live in the park.

I know most people won’t see that as a concern, but I amconcerned for the lives of our non-human friends as well as us humans!

The trees that you do cut down will destroy the homes of squirrels and maybe even owls, and the natural streams that the water runoff goes into could be a drinking source for some animals, maybe even a home to some fish, if the streams are as natural as you say. Think of the chemicals that the 700 cars in your parking lot will spew out! Also,rubbish from the fans at tournaments will pollute the streams.

I think this park will harm the neighborhood more than help it. It will fill this green, suburban hill with cars, traffic, lights, and noise. Please, consider downsizing — or just not building — the park.

Olivia Anderson

Imagine you are having a snack at your kitchen table. Your mom calls to you saying that you have to leave in 10 minutes for music lessons. When you leave you’re going at a normal speed and will be on time, and then traffic engulfs you and you can’t move. You are 15 minutes late to your 45-minute lesson. When your teacher asks you why you are late, there’s only one answer:Wellington Hills County Park.

... County Public Works officials have responded to some traffic issues, but have not gone far enough. ... They have not carried any of their solutions onto 156th. The roundabouts will help on 240th but not on 156th where drivers aren’t forced to go slowly.

There still will be chokepoints as games will always have different times and traffic will be congested at start and finishes.

Noise will be an issue for neighbors living by the park. There will be more car traffic, and activities at the park that will cause loud rackets ...

The neighbors with pets won’t be able to let their dogs or cats outside. It would be harder for dogs because they wouldn’t be able to go outside by the road, because with all the traffic they could get hit.

... The concerns above are just my top three.

People have many more, including: water run-off, lights, overgrowth of the landscaping, size and scale of the features/park, and increased crime. Lack of neighborhood input, speed of implementation, and a limited budget that could be spent somewhere else, also have neighbors increasingly frustrated.

I hope people will realize what kind of an impact this will have on all of us — and it will not be a small one.

Sally Beaudette

Sophia Chiesa

February’, 2013

Wyatt Church ©OO

Wellington Hills County Park February 11, 2013

Dear editor,

I am for Wellington Hills County Park.

Imagine your kids on a warm sunny day locked up inside playing

video games, or imagine them riding their bikes down to the Wellington

Hills County Park.

First they would set aside their equipment for the day in a locker.

Then they might play Frisbee in the community open space. Next, they

might want to go down and do some indoor mountain biking at the 50,000

square foot indoor mountain biking facility. Maybe after getting warmed

up, they might want to go on the rope course or climbing wall. After that

they might have gotten tired and decided they want to go to their locker

and get some lunch and eat at the picnic tables.

Besides the activities mentioned above there will be 7 multi-use

sports fields, 4 baseball/softball fields, trails for hiking and mountain

biking, a 35,000 square foot indoor-sports facility, indoor/outdoor

mountain biking facility, two off-leash dog parks, nature playground,

informal open space, picnic shelters with a BBQ basketball hoops,

playground area with swings, and adequate parking and access.

Also there is a high chance of a climbing wall, rope course, exercise

stations near fields, and a practice/warm up wall. There is also a slight

chance of having disc golf around the park, a small putting course, and

basketball courts.

One major concern is the traffic, but I don’t believe that this is going

to be the only sports complex in the area. Is everyone forgetting about

Woodinville fields, Timbercrest Jr. High, Wellington Elementary, Bear

Creek Elementary, 60 acres, North Creek fields, and Woodinville and

Bothell High School? Sure it will be busy for the first few months. But after

that most families will have a conversation like this: Kid: “I want to go to

the county park.” Mom: “We have already been there how ‘bout we go

there next time.”

Another major concern is the big giant lights that are being directed

right at you, right... no. First of all there is a 115’ to 135’ buffer made out of

existing trees all around the lights, and just in case the light makes it past

the 120’ barrier they’re pointed directly at the field. And even if a reflection

off the field produces light toward the houses, like I said before it wouldn’t

even stand a chance against the 120’ barrier.

Another major concern is water run-off because when you have 700

asphalt parking spaces, there is no natural water absorbent, but they found

a solution. Initially were going to have a pipe that connected to a drainage

pipe that flowed into the pond. Now they are making natural day lighted

streams from the sports fields and parking lot to the pond. Which will now

collect more water as it flows down to the pond.

And another major concern is that a lot of trees will be killed.

Actually they moved the parking lot up top, to be horizontal, which saves

all of the trees. They also moved the dog park where the old parking lot

was which makes it easy to let your dog out of the car to the park. This is a

bonus since the dog park is being moved to where the trees are they won’t

have to cut down the trees, instead they will be part of the dog park.

I recently attended master plan meeting #5 and one person brought

up a point, “If you want the park to be safe what are you going to do about

the crumbling wall falling down on the children on

Woodinville/Snohomish road?” and Steve Dickson said in different words:

“First we will take down the wall starting from the top and progressing

downwards. Then we will take down the barricade. Next we will widen

the left turn/forward lane to Costco and build side walks all the way from

the park to Costco.”

I definitely think that the park is a good idea for the community.

Some people think that it is more of a sports complex than a county park. I

think that it will make money for the park.

In the future Woodinville will be famous for wine, hot air balloons,

mountain views, streams, pine trees, and Wellington Hills County Park

Letters to the Editor - March 13, 2013

  • Written by Readers

On behalf of the parents, coaches and student-athletes at Woodinville High School I would like to thank the Woodinville community for its outstanding support of our recent Sip, Bite, Win! Auction to benefit WHS sports.

The Falcon Athletic Booster Club (FAB) was formed to support our 19 boys’ and girls’ sports teams with training, equipment, travel, coaching and other expenses that are not otherwise available due to budget cuts.

In addition, FAB supports a scholarship program for WHS graduating seniors along with special projects at the school.

Special thanks to the restaurants, beverage companies and donors who provided auction items, as well as to the many community members who attended and helped make the evening a great success for our kids.

For more information on Falcon Boosters, or to become one yourself, visit

Brett Bader, president

Falcon Athletic Booster Club

I’m responding to Ms. Milke’s letter last week, thinking she is suddenly under surveillance by going shopping in downtown Woodinville. Homeland Security regularly issues grants to cities and towns for surveillance cameras; I have no idea if a town can refuse them.  Consider, stores have had surveillance cameras inside for decades and no one has stopped shopping.  Far more fearsome, I think, are drones. Our attorney general just decreed that spy drones can shoot people on American soil.  They have already shot Americans on foreign soil. Some towns are disallowing airspace to drones.  Good luck.

I don’t even scratch the surface of surveillance when I say that wire tapping goes on without public or government scrutiny.  Dogs wait to sniff you at airports, and your body could be x-rayed.  There’s postal interception, an enormous database from the U.S. Census including you, and don’t forget your driver’s license.  The license plate on your car can be read from further and further away.  What about surveillance from China?

Hacking may put secrets of our businesses in the hands of our foreign competitors, or turn off our electrical grid system.

Why didn’t anyone get mad at Steve Jobs for conspiring with police to put locational chips in our phones?  If you carry your phone with you, the police can easily track you down, even if you aren’t phoning.  I like to keep up with those photographic inventions that can see through walls and around corners. What makes you unique is your fingerprint and your DNA — probably recorded in storage in data bases you have no knowledge of.

Facial recognition is also improving.You may be recognized by such a camera 500 feet away. Your facial features may be analyzed to determine your emotions.  Part of Secret Service training is to identify any tense, furtive, nervous or angry looks on the faces of people in crowds around the president and remove them.  The identity of gun-owners will come under increasing scrutiny.

Then, there is Internet tracking. If you want to figure out mortgage payments on a house and give any information, the banks will spam you and call you up to 30 times a day until you unplug your phone.  All know that Facebook is monitored for advertisers.  Your e-mail is scanned for certain words or criminal plots. Why do doctors have to know your social security number?

Overhead satellites supposedly spy on other countries but are not limited to that. Soon TVs will be developed to spy on you in your home.  We might have to step outside just to pick our noses. Is this ethical?  No, but that’s not the point in totalitarian societies.

Nancy Snyder, Woodinville

At the beginning of the February 12 Woodinville City Council meeting, Mayor Bernie Talmas effectivelyasked me to resign, claiming that I do not live in the city of Woodinville.

Last week, a friend of Mr. Talmas filed a challenge with King County Elections, following a specific list ofdirections given by our city attorney in a memo.

Today that challenge was dismissed.

As I have stated publicly before, I moved from a home my wife Susan and I still own on Woodinville-Duvall Road to another residence in the city of Woodinville. For the record, my new address is 18213167th Ave. NE, Woodinville. I have made sure the King County Elections office has my current address on file so there can be no confusion on the subject.

I was not at liberty to discuss some very private matters without first speaking to my wife. I am the council member, not my wife. She has the right to her privacy. But my wife has given me permission to explain why she moved to Kirkland.

My wife, Susan, has serious health concerns and her health care providers advised her to shorten her commute to work to reduce her pain. We purchased a home for her in Kirkland to be closer to her work.

I maintain a residence in Woodinville, partly because our son still attends Woodinville schools and we are very active here in the community. And also because I made a commitment to the people ofWoodinville and I take that commitment seriously.

This arrangement isn’t forever nor is it convenient. But a lot of families have to be creative whensomething as life-altering as a debilitating illness strikes.

I am left with a bad taste in my mouth over this entire matter. I feel like my wife and son have been attacked unfairly, as well as my character and reputation. But more than that, I am honestly worried by a pattern of unethical and possibly illegal behavior that has emerged.

First, in his comments to Council on February 12, Bernie Talmas referred to private loan documents that he claims to have viewed. If his claim is true, the documents he says he viewed were obtained unethically, illegally, or both.

Second, Bernie Talmas referenced that one of his people has been watching the home of my wife and son to see who is coming and going after dark. This upsets me and makes me worry for not only the privacy, but the very safety of my family. Any father or husband would react the same way I have.

Third, in the challenge filed last week by Mr. Talmas’ people, they submitted a print-out that claimed it was my voter registration with a Kirkland address. There has never been a record with the King CountyElections office with a Kirkland address for me either as a mailing address or a residence address.

Anyone can confirm this, as I have done, with a simple request for the records. I was registered at my old Woodinville address, I updated my mailing address to include my post office box, then I updated my physical address to my new place I began leasing in October of last year. To think that someone would intentionally doctor a document to provide fake evidence should be of concern to any good citizen ofWoodinville.

Fourth, I have found Mayor Talmas’ use of our city attorney to be inappropriate. He took a political issue that was not a city council issue and spent taxpayer resources by instructing our city attorney to draft memos that read like a primer on how to challenge another council member’s residency. It was not even generic in its scope, as my name was specifically mentioned in the memo that was released to the public. Mr. Talmas used city resources to provide free legal counsel to his people to make a frivolous and political attack on another council member.

Given this pattern of abuses, unethical and possibly illegal activity, I am very concerned not just for myfamily, but all my fellow citizens

I publicly call on Mr. Talmas to release to my attorney the private financial documents he referenced in his February 12 comments. If he does not have them and viewed documents that are in the possession of another person, then he needs to state who that person is.

I also publicly ask Mr. Talmas to tell his people he consults with to stop stalking my wife Susan and son Alec. It makes me nervous to think that people are watching my wife and son’s home when I am not around to protect them.

And if he knows, Mr. Talmas should also disclose or release the source of the doctored document which was claimed to be a statement of my voter registration that purposely and inaccurately lists my mailing address as being in Kirkland. Release that person’s name. Those documents were submitted to KingCounty Elections under penalty of perjury.

Lastly, we as a city council should review when the services of the city attorney can be used. Given the misuse of the peoples’ attorney over the past few weeks, I think a look at what our rules are should be in order.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this difficult time, and thank you for your phone calls, concerns and kind thoughts about the privacy and safety of my family. I am hopeful that we can put this matter to rest and move on to doing the city’s business that we were elected to do.

Woodinville City Councilmember Scott Hageman

Scott Hageman moved in October of 2012. He did not update his voter registration until March 1, 2013.

Scott had four months to update his address as required by law, but he failed to do so. Mayor Talmas could have done a much better job of presenting the issue, I agree. Nobody presented false or doctored documents and I challenge Scott to produce any evidence that supports his comments that this was the case.

All documents presented were obtained legally, online, from King County records, which is a free service provided to everybody. Some of Scott’s loan documents are a matter of public record because proper recording of liens announces to the world their existence.

There’s been a lot of talk about “spies” and posting Scott Hageman’s private documents ... I followed the requirements of the KCEB (King County Elections Board)  when I filed a challenge to Scott’s voter registration ( All of the documents attached to my challenge were obtained from King County websites. A property title is recorded to the property and the Deed of Trust is posted online. The deed for 11103 NE 60th Street in Kirkland lists Scott Hageman as a co-owner and co-borrower. The document was filed by Bank of America and recorded in King County.

Terms of the loan are on the document and include the requirement (#6) that the loan is for a primary residence, and that the buyer must occupy the home within 60 days of purchase and then live at the house for the next 12 months. Scott Hageman’s signature is on the deed.

Scott’s voter registration was challenged by me based on the fact that Scott no longer lived at 16505 NE Woodinville-Duvall Road, Scott’s registered address. Scott did not deny that he moved or that his voter registration was invalid.

When Scott updated his address, that particular challenge became moot. The information regarding Scott’s loans, property titles, voter registration, possible addresses, etc. were obtained at the request of the King County Elections Board as part of the challenge process. Although you may feel that some documents are “personal” in nature, property titles, lien documents, voter registration documents, and other information has to be recorded and made available to the public in order to verify their existence and to make the terms enforceable. If you want to accuse anybody of being a “spy,” start with the King County Elections Board. It is important to note that even though Scott might maintain a residence in Woodinville, just having an address in the city does not mean he actually lives in the city. That issue is still in dispute. As Greg Rubstello (Woodinville City Attorney) stated, residency is a mixed issue of fact and law. There is ample evidence available online via King County Public Records that proves Scott purchased a home in Kirkland as a primary residence in August of 2012. Scott never publicly denied moving to Kirkland between August of 2012 and October of 2012. What Scott did say on February 12th is: “I do not consider myself a resident of Kirkland … at this time.”  Decide for yourself why he didn’t just tell us he has never been a resident of Kirkland, or that he has consistently maintained residency in Woodinville.

I am sympathetic to Scott with respect to his family’s privacy... Choosing to be an elected official brings a few [un]pleasantries that you just have to live with ... My final note is that Scott not only failed to abide by the law, he seemed to blame the mayor, citizens and even the city attorney for his problems.

Dale Knapinski, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - March 4, 2013

  • Written by Readers

This letter is in response to some of the letters in the Weekly concerning my handling of the issue of Councilmember Hageman’s residency.

The issue was first brought to my attention by another council member after the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on January 17. I was told there was a rumor at the luncheon that an unnamed council member was going to resign, and the caller wanted me to know that it wasn’t the caller.

I made some phone calls that afternoon and learned that the subject of the rumor was Mr. Hageman and the source of the rumor was a neighbor of Mr. Hageman who had seen the moving truck at his house removing items and thereafter other people living in the home.

I then called the first council member back and said the rumor should go no further because Mr. Hageman may have moved within the city, and if he had moved out of the city I was sure he would resign.

Shortly before our February 12 council meeting, in response to a citizen request, I looked at the King County website, including the assessor’s records, and discovered the information that I disclosed at the council meeting, including the fact that Mr. Hageman had purchased a home in Kirkland in August.

I could not discuss the matter with Mr. Hageman in private before the meeting, as two of the letters suggested, since there were already three council members (including myself) that were aware of the issue, and to discuss it with a fourth member outside of the public council meeting would be a violation of the open public meetings act.

Also, and contrary to Mr. Jaffe who considered this a “trivial issue” or Mr. Heald who considered Mr. Hageman’s residency a “potential anomaly,” I consider Mr. Hageman’s residency of paramount importance.

State law is clear that when a city elected official moves out of the city his seat becomes vacant.

I do not have “secret spies,” I have not followed Mr. Hageman anywhere, I have not hired a private investigator, and I have not obtained any bank records, as were suggested in the above referenced letters. I do, however, have a responsibility as an elected official to support the laws of Washington and to bring to the public’s attention in an open public meeting information that suggests an elected official is no longer qualified to hold office because he may have moved out of the jurisdiction.

Once I became aware of this information I could not keep it secret. The above referenced letters are a distraction from the one real issue, which is where has Mr. Hageman lived since August?

He still has not provided the city with his residence address.

Bernie Talmas, Woodinville mayor

I was again shocked to read in our local paper the antics of our city council. I am embarrassed to be a part of this community.

“Mayor” Bernie Talmas should be ashamed of himself for his latest high school  behavior (Mayor calls out colleague on residency). Really? Is it necessary to embarrass one of your sitting council members in such a public way?

Maybe the council should start worrying about more important issues —  the traffic in Woodinville. The 195th intersection is a nightmare. Seems the council is more concerned with proper protocol than the issues that Woodinville still faces every day.

Our city government is a joke and has been criticized since we became a city. Let’s quit with the tattling on people and be a little more professional, Mr. Mayor.

The meetings are always canceled or changed or someone doesn’t show up — rarely are the issues ever dealt with. You listen but never take action.

I am fed up with the entire council.

You have lost my vote.

Sindi Giancoli, Woodinville

While a newspaper’s job is to report the news, I didn’t think I lived in a community where this type of story would be splashed all over the front page. It’s difficult enough to go through personal family issues without having the entire community knowing about it.

I’m appalled by Mayor Talmas; he could have handled this situation in a more private manner, but chose to publicly attack Mr. Hageman. I can only assume Mr. Talmas has personal issues with Mr. Hageman which he’s bringing into his job as mayor. Could he not have said at the beginning of the meeting that any votes would need to be tabled until a council issue was dealt with? Could he not have approached Mr. Hageman with his concern before the meeting, asking Mr. Hageman to excuse himself?

I also agree with the previous letter about Mr. Hageman having been investigated. I think that’s a lot of trouble for someone to go to when they could have just approached him and asked for proof of residency.  I certainly hope my tax dollars weren’t used to pay for this effort.

I urge Woodinville City Council to elect someone else as mayor in the next term.  And I urge Woodinville citizens to vote for “anyone” other than Mr. Talmas during the next council member election. If no one runs against Mr. Talmas, I will be voting for Mickey Mouse.

Jamie Loonam, Woodinville

It has come to my attention that Woodinville is following the dangerous trend of surveillance cameras in the city that will watch “crimes in action.” I have lived in Woodinville for over 20 years and not once have I felt afraid to go down there.  I have a few points and concerns.

1. Where is the crime being committed in Woodinville?  I would like to know as I will avoid those areas in the future.

2. Did the Department of Homeland Security give the City of Woodinville a grant for these cameras?

And if not, how much did they cost and how much will it cost to monitor them?

3. Don’t the establishments that have the “most crime” already have these cameras?  I am thinking grocery stores, banks, eating establishments, traffic intersections, etc?  And don’t most also have alarms?!

4.  There were fewer crimes in Woodinville last year according to the Woodinville Weekly except residential burglary which increased by 72 percent. Perhaps the cameras would be put to better use monitoring everyone’s homes instead!

5. Did you guys think this through or just decide to implement it without any public discussion.  Don’t you work for us?

6. I think you need to put this to a vote to the citizens of Woodinville.

As a frequent shopper in downtown Woodinville at the Aaron Bros, Molbak’s, TJMaxx, Whole Pet Shop, Starbucks, InSpa, Jamba Juice and many more, I will be less likely to do my shopping in downtown Woodinville if these cameras are installed.

Susan Milke, Woodinville

To: Dave Somers, other council members, Aaron Reardon, Tom Tiegen

As you know, the highly controversial Wellington Hills Park Plan may be coming before the County Council within the next several months.

Many in the surrounding area believe that the plans to turn the property into a very large tournament level athletic facility are completely wrong and in clear violation of the Growth Management Act, the State Environmental Policy Act and the Snohomish County Parks Comprehensive Plan.  These interested persons intend to present their views to the council if the matter comes before it.

In light of this background, the immediate neighbors were shocked this morning to find that a contractor has set up in the area of the clubhouse of the golf course with instructions to demolish it.  Despite several hearings and reviews, Snohomish County Park provided no notice to the neighbors or other interested parties of their intended action.

As far as we know, the clubhouse building is a functional structure that could be used in the future, depending on the decision of the council for comprehensive and master planning for the site.

However, Parks seems intent on taking actions which make decisions on the future of the park without notice and without approval from the council.

We are aware of no reason why demolition is required at this time and no explanation of this action has been provided.  We write today to ask that you take action to suspend further actions regarding demolition of the building on site pending further review.

Most significantly, Parks is taking action to demolish these buildings without compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act.  No environmental checklist has even been prepared for any master plans or work in the park.

The SEPA rules make clear that the county shall take no action on actions subject to SEPA until SEPA compliance is complete: 197-11-070. Limitations on actions during SEPA process.

(1) Until the responsible official issues a final determination of nonsignificance or final environmental impact statement, no action concerning the proposal shall be taken by a governmental agency that would:

(a) Have an adverse environmental impact; or

(b) Limit the choice of reasonable alternatives

The planning for future use of Wellington Hills is an action subject to SEPA and as such requires that no actions be taken which “limit the choice of reasonable alternatives.”

Many have urged that the Wellington Hills property remain as a passive facility and the existing clubhouse would certainly be useful in that regard.

In short, demolition of existing building at the site is inconsistent with SEPA and the SEPA rules.

In addition, the county must consider whether the buildings and site would qualify for designation under the county register of historic places under Chapter 30.32D of the Snohomish County Code.

The criteria for such designation are that a site or structure is at least 50 years old. SCC 30.32D.040.

The Wellington Hills site, as a golf course and facility, opened in 1930 and is more than 80 years old and was certainly one of the very few golf courses in Snohomish County with this history.

All of this smacks more of an attempt by Parks to silence opposition and make the grand master plan a “done-deal” by moving forward with irreversible actions, even before the council sees the master plan.  This attempt to stack the deck in favor of Parks should be summarily rejected. County officials should immediately suspend further demolition actions until all SEPA and historic standards are fully met.

Todd Bailey, Board Director, Neighbors to Save Wellington Park