Opinion

County Council hears only those with deep pockets

county council Notice to King County Citizens: Unless you have deep pockets, you have no chance in being heard by this County Council.
   The recent Blakely Ridge approval is a perfect example of what's wrong. While citizens of the Bear Creek area continued to be ignored by our representatives, several King County Council members were continuing to accept substantial campaign contributions from the developers who will gain from these projects: Port Blakely Communities and Weyerhaeuser.
   County Executive Gary Locke was asked on a recent radio show why he could continue to accept money from these developers while these projects were in progress before the county.
   He said that because he had decided over a year ago that he favored these projects, this pre-judgment allowed him to accept their money.
   I guess it doesn't matter that the entire public hearing process occurred while he was taking their money.
   What of the King County Council?
   They were obligated by law to withhold their judgment until after all the testimony and facts were made on the record.
   Does their acceptance of this special influence money during the process show that they had already decided in favor of these developers and against the citizens they're elected to represent?
   What drove them to approve Blakely Ridge despite a ruling from the state that it violates the Growth Management Act--clearly a bias they have in favor of the developers who contribute so much to their campaigns.
   There is a term for this: "corruption."

Michael Costello, Redmond