Northwest NEWS

January 8,2001


We have to learn how to say no

Even as the King County Council was voting to put another $500,000 into the 2001 budget toward buying Bothell's Magnolia Dairy Farm - on top of already having purchased the development rights to same back in the 80s, the Whidbey newspaper was headlining Greenbank Farm Seeks Financial Help.
   In 1997 enthusiastic citizens persuaded government entities and the Nature Conservancy to buy the Greenbank Farm on central Whidbey Island to save it from (rural) development. The citizens' group was confident that the farm would be self-supporting. It's not. And now they're seeking more government money.
   In a time of desperately searching for money for transportation solutions and for land for active recreation, King County is foolish beyond words for putting even more money into the Magnolia Dairy which already is permanently preserved from development by the county's earlier purchase of development rights. Like Greenbank, will it too need more and more?
   But, as has been said before, whenever King County gets a bee in its bonnet to acquire ever-more non-recreational open space land, it manages to find the wherewithal to do so. The rest of us just have to learn how not to take no for an answer and get recreation on an even footing with open space.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville