Officials did a stinky job informing public

Those of us who have been struggling against the Brightwater sewage plant in Edmonds or Woodinville have the distinct impression that it’s like trying to stop a 747 with a pickup truck.

We’re dealing with a big bureaucracy accountable only to an elected official in an adjoining county. Our county appears to have ceded away all rights in the siting process. Site selection criteria are changed willy-nilly mostly to appease one interest group after another.

King County may be the operator of the facility, but it is Snohomish County that has agreed to work with King County to have the services in south Snohomish County. Whether the agreement is formal or informal, Snohomish County government retains the obligation to its citizens to find the very best site.

So far, it has failed the test badly.

The first most of us heard about this plant was last spring when King County informed the world it was looking at a number of sites, all but one in Snohomish. The one King County site was conveniently deleted. To date, Snohomish County has sent no one in my neighborhood a single communication on this project.

By the time everyone caught up to the process, we were down to just two sites, and I am not certain the process has produced the very best site.

The Highway 9 site – a half-mile from my house – will cost a third more to build than the Edmonds site. And no one really has a good idea what the final costs will be.

My guess is that the final bill for the Woodinville site will top $2 billion. No matter what happens, it will disrupt many more lives than just those of us who live near the Woodinville site.

The Edmonds site has its own problems. The one thing I can say for Brightwater here is that they are at least offering up an interesting design concept.

Brightwater, King County and Snohomish County officials insist public disclosure has been more than adequate. I think, frankly, they’re just trying to get the job done now, and the hell with what anyone thinks.


Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, May 21

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

The vessel Tonga Chief, a 10-year-old Singaporean container ship, is moored at the Port of Everett Seaport in November, 2023, in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald file photo)
Editorial: Leave port tax issue for campaign, not the ballot

Including “taxing district” on ballot issue to expand the Port of Everett’s boundaries is prejudicial.

Snohomish County Councilmembers Nate Nehring, left, and Jared Mead, speaking, take turns moderating a panel including Tulip Tribes Chairwoman Teri Gobin, Stanwood Mayor Sid Roberts and Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell during the Building Bridges Summit on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at Western Washington University Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Candidates, voters have campaign promises to make

Two county officials’ efforts to improve political discourse skills are expanding to youths and adults.

Ross Douthat: This trial isn’t going to cost Trump many voters

To most observers, a conviction will seem either a minor offense or an overreach of prosecution.

Kristof: Israel can abandon hope if it invades Rafah

Further deaths of civilians to get at Hamas is likely to create a new generation of Palestinian fighters.

Krugman: Trump only Exhibit A for the pettiness of the powerful

When wealth no longer satisfies, the powerful elite look for adulation, to the disadvantage of all others.

Editorial cartoons for Monday, May 20

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Charles Blow: Trump remains at war with the U.S. Constitution

His threats of deportation and violence against peaceful protesters, though vague, can’t be ignored.

Choice in November is between democracy, autocracy

The country belongs to the people and in November they can choose… Continue reading

Opposing Israel’s Netanyahu isn’t antisemitic

I support the demonstrations against Israel’s Benjamin Netayahu. Counter to what the… Continue reading

Trump is being pursued in court because he can win

It is so obvious that President Biden, the Democrats and much of… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.