To keep outdoor dining, don’t hide behind codes; change them

As I watch the Snohomish tent situation at Andy’s, I am amazed at the brutal enforcement threatened measures (“City: Campaign can’t save big tent at Andy’s Fish House in Snohomish,” The Herald, May 4).

A tent allowed by “emergency powers” is now a dire threat to public safety? The tent hasn’t moved. If it was such a danger to customers before, what has changed? Did the proprietors vote for the wrong candidate in the mayoral race?

When I visit Leavenworth, I see outdoor dining area much like the one at Andy’s. These structures went up prior to covid and are standing as we speak. Faceless codes that were adopted perhaps without understanding their full impact are a plague!

As a lifelong Snohomish County resident and Snohomish business customer, I can’t sit back and say “just get along by going along.” If city officers looked for creative solutions that fit unique situations the all-powerful codes could be amended. If the codes are unamendable they stand higher than our state and federal constitutions!

This is an untenable situation in my humble opinion. Bureaucrats write these codes and never see how real people are affected. I didn’t use the term constituents here on purpose, as these anonymous code writers are not beholden to the folks their work impacts.

On a larger note, this type of taxpayer-government interaction stifles our business community and increases costs to consumers. Even worse, this is a prime example of why so many people feel disenfranchised by politicians today. Look at solutions! Is there any room for compromise?

John Mitchell

Lake Stevens

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