Northwest NEWS

September 16, 2002


What do I tell my daughter?

Copy of a letter sent to State Reps. O'Brien, Edwards and McAuliff:
   My daughter, a high school senior, had to do a report for school on how state government works. She was hoping I could tell her how it worked for me in my work for Thrashers Corner Preservation Association. I told her it was unresponsive to me.
   The state somehow set up a system that let one county come into another county and take land. No one can explain to me how this was done. And it may be legal, but it is not right. Ask any school child in the country, ask any one in the world and it is understood in a democracy, in the USA, people get to vote for those that make decisions for them.
   I can't recall getting a response to these issues from any of my state representatives. I have heard from a few of your colleagues. I don't even know if you realize I am your constituent. The way the districts are marked you cover King County and Snohomish and I feel you all have the ear of King County. Someone campaigning at my door recently for a person who is looking at one of your seats sure got an earful.
   Regarding the Brightwater issue, we in Snohomish got abandoned. Everyone denies being a part of it, but it happened. I called the State Attorney's office and didn't get to first base.
   I called the ACLU, who I understand we have to thank for bringing a situation (that they felt was undemocratic) to the state that voted on the present arrangement and ACLU said as it involved homes it wasn't their issue.
   Disenfranchised citizens losing their homes is not an issue? What in the world is? I communicated with Governor Locke. No answer. As a citizen living in this state I have become very disillusioned.
   The democratic way may be on paper, but that is not how the state operates. Money speaks and overrides the voters. West Point can't be expanded as King County paid for a study and the report was that Magnolia would keep it tied up in courts and it would be expensive. They had the money to fight it.
   When I questioned Sims on Public Radio about being disenfranchised, he said I wasn't. I could have input, but that is not political leverage on the people making the decision. And he said no matter what site was picked the lawyers would be there in droves.
   He took off the only site in King County. Drewel supposedly took off a site in Snohomish County but in fact it was a King County Councilmember who was able to. He was a gun club member and didn't want to lose the gun club.
   Edmonds actually had their state elected officials get into the act. Two heros of the Thrashers Corner community used their own expertise as engineers and hours of their time researching and met with technical people of King County showing how that site wasn't feasible. It was undeveloped for the reason it was wet lands.
   Others in the community helped as we could. We also put as much pressure on Bothell City Council as we could since the site was in Bothell and the people who would lose their homes were in Bothell and many of the people impacted were from Bothell. I am not but went to bat for my neighbors who were losing their houses and all of us in the neighborhood who wanted to protect our promised designated park.
   Also I understand in a few years I will be in Bothell, and it is in my interest to do what I can for my future city.
   So that left Route 9 apparently without big bucks to fight, with no incorporated council to put pressure on, and their own Snohomish County Council who said they couldn't get involved as they were in a quasi-judicial position as they would be issuing permits. These folks were left with no one to represent their interests and apparently they can't pay big bucks like other in the state do to override voters or anything else that stand in their way of what they want whether it is trees or restraints on land they want to develop and make money on.
   To add insult to injury, some people near the Route 9 site favored Brightwater as they thought that was better than the Northshore School District bus barn planned for 17 of the acres. I read in the Bothell Reporter 9/5/02 that a "mutually beneficial solution for both parties' (Brightwater and the school district) is being worked on.
   I'm concerned about the salmon and everybody postures over saving them, but as far as I can see if they survive, it will be by pure chance. Personal profit making opportunities and money trump everything here in the "clear cut" state.
   Everybody dithers over everything. Suburban sprawl is eating up the area I live in with every blink of the eye.
   No matter what is happening or what local council is addressed, everything seems dictated by the state GMA (Growth Management Act). What happened to neighborhoods deciding themselves what they want? Why are cities driven to develop in a certain way? And the developers knowing this want everything done today. They want to make their buck and get out while they can. The rest of us are left to live with the mess or move further out and start the downward spiral of more suburban sprawl.
   So what do I tell my daughter for her report?
   Adelaide W. Loges, Mill Creek