Letters to the Editor

Politics: Commissioners misuse office

My frustration and disappointment in the Island County Commissioner’s misuse of public office, with respect to the Growth Management Act, is so great I hardly know where to begin. My concerns include:

Their lack of process and failure to solve current land use problems in a constructive manner, which has caused great damage to our island community.  Rather than seek resolution they have caused factions to emerge. I absolutely believe in alternative dispute resolution and in the desire and capacity for neighbors to solve problems peacefully. The commissioners have broken public faith in leadership by causing a terrible divide using coercive attacks and conflict to further their personal goals and agenda.

They have have offered no resolution, relying instead on mean-spirited distractions.

The commissioners actively and purposely brought this problem about by distracting the public through a biased and misleading attack on WEAN and, among other things, deleting from the GMA the following phrase: “Minor or small scale agriculture activities are consistent with rural areas, support rural character and should be protected and encouraged.” Clearly, Best Management Practices could be allowed on smaller plots of land. Only the commissioners’ failure to propose provisions that protect wetlands and agriculture stand in the way of a  balanced policy.  

I am beyond alarmed that elected officials dare circumvent a legal finding preventing SPU’s resort. Either they do not understand the will of their constituency or are flagrantly pursuing personal interests and the interests of Seattle Pacific University. This is priceless forest, so designated as a rare Heritage Forest. It is a responsibility for elected officials to utilize visionary thinking to imagine how we can best preserve future quality of life, for not only people, but for all living things.  

Finally, paving the way for paving and for big box buildings in Clinton: Is that the commissioners’ concept of visionary thinking? No more need for individually owned and operated business. This is yet another assault on our local culture, small town character, community and uniqueness.

The clearer I get about what the commissioners are plotting, the more angry and devastated I become. My family has been in this island community since 1921. I was fortunate enough to be raised here during the years when we knew and lived peacefully with everyone, despite our differences. The commissioners’ way of operating causes people to write offensive letters verbally attacking people who think differently than they do. They make that acceptable through their actions. This is not leadership, and it does not serve the best interests of the majority of our residents.

Jan Pickard


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