Regarding the letter, “Planning panel seeks your input”: I got a good chuckle from Guy Palumbo’s surprised reaction to the absence of public comments during Snohomish County’s six-month pilot program “for the public to testify on issues that are not on our agenda”. No one bothered to testify.
Why would any sane person — busy or not — bother to comment on decisions that have been finalized (though not publicly) before public comment is invited? Maybe my experience — being on the losing side of many planning department decisions — skews my impression.
It would be interesting for The Herald to do a bit of data analysis concerning both Everett city and Snohomish County Planning Commission decisions. Who appoints the “volunteer commissioners” who evaluate planning decisions? What percent of their votes on issues differ from the governing body overseeing the projects? Are there any cases where public arguments against a project have ever caused a project to be denied? Just asking.
In my experience public input is encouraged and celebrated then summarily ignored. The public has learned well. Why bother?