Northwest NEWS

August 16, 1999


District's only course of action is to let the courts decide

Editor's Note: This is Woodinville Water District's response to the Dorothy Gray Seattle Times editorial of Aug. 10. Please see the related story.

   Woodinville Water District cares very deeply about providing excellent customer service. We maintain a no-comment policy relating to our customers' accounts. However, since our former customer's heir made comment publicly, we believe it is appropriate to respond to these comments made in recent reports in the Seattle Times.

   The editorial states, and I quote, "The Woodinville Water District and the City of Bothell do every resident a disservice when they shrug off unfairly taken money as water under the bridge."

   We do not shrug off issues raised by our customers. The claim by Mrs. Gray's heir was for a refund of monies paid to the district during the years 1982 to 1987. The statute of limitations allows for the processing of claims up to three years old. Under Washington state law, offering to settle a claim when the statute of limitations has passed would be considered an illegal "gift of public funds."

   Although sympathetic to the claims made by Mrs. Gray's heirs, the District's only available course of action is to allow the courts to decide.

Bob Bandarra, Woodinville Water District