Letters to the Editor

McDowell picks and chooses

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During the recent APZ (Accident Potential Zone) public meeting it was disturbing to watch the dog-and-pony show put on by the County Planning Department representatives who took the heat while Commissioner McDowell mostly sat back and watched.

McDowell publicly tossed the GMA (Growth Management Act) around like the plague. This piece of intuitive Washington State legislation which we voted in favor of, and again supported when we did not pass I-933, established 13 goals ranging from public participation to local economy protections. Counties and cities must meet these goals with their comprehensive plans. In Island County and Oak Harbor, these plans are mostly empty promises side-stepped by loopholes called mitigations that pave the way for development.

I found it very revealing that McDowell decides which GMA requirements should and should not be complied with for our “public health and safety.” For example, the new county wetland ordinance, which he approved, indicates that no development will be denied for wetland protection. It also states that if a property owner finds that they cannot manage wetland protection compliance, they can simply pay a fee in lieu of the protection.

The water in Holmes Harbor is too filthy to swim in or eat the shellfish out of. Which threat is greater, the one-in-a-million chance of an airplane crash or the very real threat we pose to our clean water, air and quality of life by not complying with all of the intended guidelines?

McDowell decides which areas are worthy of enforcing at his whim. As for public awareness, according to Mac, it would be too costly to provide effective notice. Instead the county may well wind up in lawsuits due to their negligence then point the finger at our citizens for costing the county money.

Do it right Mac, either follow all the guidelines set out to protect us, or get out of office.

John Holland


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