Who would have thought as I grumbled into yet another meeting room, for yet another watchful look at our local government that I would be pleasantly surprised. But that is just what happened Wednesday evening. At a Neighborhood meeting no less. For those of you who are just waking up to the political goings on in our area, Neighborhood Association Meetings have become another layer. The city of Bellingham and outlying urban areas have been formed into Neighborhood districts. Some have attempted to take on a political role while others appear to be a formalized neighborhood get together to discuss issues affecting the immediate area.
So off I go to see what our Geneva Neighborhood Association is up to. On the agenda are Patrick Sorensen, Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District, and Susan Taylor, WSU Whatcom County Extension Service.
Our water and sewer rates are on a steep incline over the last several years, so Mr. Sorenson faced a tough crowd. He remained calm and focused as he walked us through district expenses and explained how they were financing capital repairs. An important issue for the Lake Whatcom Water District is is’s size and topography. There was a lot of discussion about the challenges of our terrain, pump stations and the age of our water lines. Everything is available and transparent on their WEB site. The water commissioners meet twice a month and two were present at this evenings meeting. Mr. Sorenson fielded questions from the crowd on the WRIA1 Planning Unit and affirmed the water districts desire to re-establish the Planning Unit as the authority to direct water resource planning in Whatcom County. The attendee’s expressed an interest in and ownership for storm water runoff concerns. Patrick listened to our concerns and spoke respectfully about our suggestions. The audience had some interesting suggestions on how the city of Bellingham might improve their water use from Lake Whatcom. All with a good depth of knowledge. If you’d like to learn more about the joint effort of the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District, joint resolution with the City of Bellingham, please click this link.
Next, Ms. Taylor helped us understand easy cost-effective changes we can bring to our backyards to improve the watershed. Members in the group who had attended her class on “Gardening Green: Sustainable Landscaping,” raved about the knowledge they had gained and the improvements they had made to their personal landscapes. They encouraged others to attend the next class being offered Aprils 23rd – May 16th. They only ask that you commit to sharing what you learn for the next year with other gardeners. To get more information please direct your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
My government working as it should. What a nice reprieve.
~ Lorraine Newman