In response to your Feb. 4 editorial “The next county executive,” I would like to add our perspective as well. As a long-time advocate in Snohomish County for two great organizations, Futurewise and Pilchuck Audobon Society, working on smart growth land use planning and policies that create healthy livable communities and protect our forests, farms and shorelines, I believe it’s imperative that our leadership care about our county’s economic and environmental quality, not only for current residents but for our children’s future.
Decisions we make today about how we grow will affect our community for decades to come. That’s why we agree with the Herald editorial: leadership is important!
Our elected leaders are already in the throes of planning for what our communities will look like in the next 20 years. The leadership — of both the county executive and the three open seats on the County Council — will determine the long-term sustainability of our county’s budget and environment.
Will they keep sprawling development at check in order to revitalize our downtowns and protect our rural lands? Will they restore the health of our lakes, rivers, streams and Puget Sound, or will our leaders make the toxic pollution worse by expanding out instead of up? Will they create a transportation system that works efficiently and reliably to move people and goods or will we be forced to sit in more gridlock? Will they make housing within the urban centers, near work and school, affordable for the many not just for the few?
We can no longer afford to make the mistakes of the past. We look forward to working with all of our leaders and neighbors to make sure that costly sprawl has no place in our future.
Snohomish/Skagit Program Director, Futurewise
Smart Growth Director, Pilchuck Audubon Society