County Executive Bob Drewel (and the county council), where are you? Where are you hiding while tiny Edmonds does solitary battle against the mighty Goliath forces of King County? We in Edmonds are voters, too, you may remember. Are our wishes being presented and our interests being protected by our elected representatives?
Recent indications suggest that Edmonds has a high probability of being the future site of King County’s wastewater treatment site. This is not in the best interest of Edmonds or its business community. All indications are that property values will decrease and the appeal of the area to visitors will be negatively impacted.
King County maintains that a large percentage of the wastewater to be treated will come from Snohomish County. None of the wastewater, however, comes from Edmonds.
One commonly held misconception seems to be that Edmonds will profit as the recipient of millions of dollars of mitigation funds. This is clearly not true. King County will not give Edmonds a blank check; in fact, they have admitted that King County alone will make decisions about not only how much will be spent, but how it will be spent. When pressed by the Edmonds City Council, King County representatives admitted that these funds, if authorized, would be spent primarily on mitigation of noise, visual, odor and traffic effects. In fact, the majority of funds will be spent to minimize odor, not on beautification or enhancement of the property.
Even if King County solicits our opinions, the citizens and political bodies in Edmonds will have no recourse if King County chooses to ignore such input. King County maintains the absolute right to make decisions on this issue. That means that no deciding member is subject to any sort of political or other pressure from the citizens and businesses in the area being impacted – namely, Edmonds! We have no vote in King County, and cannot hold accountable those empowered to make decisions. It is only to the King County ratepayers that King County has a responsibility, not to any Edmonds resident or political entity.
Edmonds residents seek help in this issue. As our elected representatives (and we do have some input to reelection) please do all that you can to defeat and discourage siting of King County’s wastewater treatment plant in Edmonds. Become visible and vocal, please, and stand up for tiny Edmonds in its battle with King County.
Laurie J. Dressler