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

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, Jan. 28

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

Alicia’s View: Our differences can describe and not divide

A respectful exchange of thoughts can provide a better understanding of our individual positions.

Comment: Relaxed training standards won’t fix hospital staffing

Legislation to license anesthesiologist assistants in hospitals will only increase costs for patients.

Comment: Vote yes for kids but also to thank the parents

Approval of the Marysville school levy would recognize the work of parents who help to educate kids.

Forum: Save habitat for wildlife that are losing homes

Numerous animals and plants are facing extinction unless we work to protect and restore their habitat.

Forum: Recent policing reforms have made Washington less safe

Clamping down on police pursuits and looking the other way on drug use is contributing to a rise in crime.

Editorial cartoons for Friday, Jan. 27

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

Catherine Berwicks loads ballots into a tray after scanning them at the Snohomish County Elections Ballot Processing Center on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 in Everett, Wa.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Editorial: Boot meaningless tax ‘advisory’ measures from ballots

The public needs better transparency on taxes; not an opaque push poll that serves no purpose.

Washington Future Fund
Editorial: Fund could break inequitable cycle of poverty

State version of ‘baby bonds’ would provide capital for low-income young adults’ economic success.

Most Read