Planning commissioner resigns post
June 25, 2020
To The Eagle:
I must have misunderstood my role as a member of the planning commission and the role of individuals or companies coming before the commission for approval of their project. I reference the PUD Skamokawa project. The first meeting of the commission, to discuss and question content within the proposal, was fruitless as the author and person most likely with answers to commissioners’ questions, the manager of the PUD, could not be bothered to attend.
One portion of the presentation submitted, was a technical memo from Cultural Resource Consultants. They wrote, in their project description, that “approximately” 12 residents and “approximately” 12 meters will be installed. The amount of money to provide “approximately” 12 residents, who have water, by the way, not chlorinated however, was one concern of some commission members. Several residents of Deep River and Oneida Road, in the West End, have no water. I understand, they have asked for years that the pipes be extended to include them but were informed there was not enough interest. If “approximately” 12 residents constitute enough interest to justify running pipeline in Skamokawa, why are10-12 households in the West End considered not enough interest to have county water piped to their homes?
Another part of that same memo, which concerned me, was the sentence “The West Side Water Works Water System, part of the Western Wahkiakum Water System, plans to consolidate three smaller water systems: Sleepy Hollow Water Company, Steamboat Slough Water Association and the Brook’s Slough Water Association.” Why add more debt to the Western Wahkiakum Water System? There are three systems already set up; consolidate them. The customers of Western Wahkiakum Water System do not need another increase on their base rate; they pay the highest in the county as it is.
At the second gathering to discuss the project, neither question was answered; neither question was asked. After the meeting was convened, the commission was informed their task was to approve the pipeline under the Brooks Slough bridge; Nothing else was of our concern.
For the PUD to go over the commission’s decision to the county commissioners, I must ask what is the function of the planning commission? If it is to rubberstamp each project, no questions asked, count me out. Who knows how the vote would have gone if the commission had not been silenced? Often, answers promote further questions. I do know however, I am resigning from the planning commission.