County GOP has balanced approach

As we enter another election cycle and consider the makeup of our County Council, we all need to keep a few things in mind as environmental extremists step up their attacks on John Koster and the Republican majority.

Smarting from the balanced, common-sense approach Koster has returned to the county’s planning process, the extremists are agitated and ready for a fight.

The facts of the Island Crossing land-use proposal are so misrepresented in newspaper gossip as to suggest deliberate distortion. The standard ruse is that Dwayne Lane owns 110 acres of farmland at Island Crossing, which he proposes to “take out of farming” and turn into a car lot with consequent flooding soon to follow. The truth is quite different.

A main proponent of the land use change at Island Crossing is the City of Arlington. And the Arlington City Council has supported this proposal unanimously. Dwayne Lane is one of 23 owners of the 110 acres involved. None of that acreage is in commercial agriculture, and Lane’s 15 acres has not been farmed for 30 years. The previous owner, Mrs. Roberta Winter, has twice testified to the County Council that the land was divided in the 1970s to build Interstate 5, and that since then, the land has been considered unsuitable for commercial farming.

Lane’s car lot would employ more that 40 people with stable, family wage union jobs in the north county area. And he is committed to an engineering plan that would actually improve the surface water drainage in the area.

I know John Koster as a man of integrity who meets with hundreds of people and devours thousands of pages of reports. He agonizes over difficult land use decisions. He loves the north county area and cares about the people who live there. As a lifelong resident and a former dairy farmer, John knows Snohomish County is a great place to raise families. For those families to prosper and to continue with a balanced approach to government, we need to support Koster and the Republican majority County Council.

Steve Baker

Arlington City Council

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