At tonight’s Whatcom County Council meeting there was an enormous turnout from the community in support of the Whatcom County Council to fund and see through to completion the Hirst et al v. Whatcom County, lawsuit set to be heard in the Washington State Court of Appeals. When the seven council members came into the chambers, Council Member Ken Mann presented the motion for the Whatcom County Council to approve the funds needed for the Hirst, Harris, Stalheim, Brakke and Futurewise v. Whatcom County, opposing the Final Determination Order (FDO) given by the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) in favor of the appellants. One major point of contention within their petition would require the property owner to prove that their well would not negatively effect the watershed. Sounds innocent enough to the uninformed doesn’t it? Who wants to intentionally negatively effect anything? Their petition fails to address these important points that were listed on a recent Whatcom Tea Party web post:
- Should private individuals and organizations assume the power to dictate “remedies” such as public policy and regulation to our elected representatives?
- If there are water quality and quantity problems, how have those been proven – to whom?
- The Growth Management Hearings Board is a quasi-judicial board of state appointees that reviews comprehensive plans as they relate to the GMA (the Growth Management Act). It is not technically qualified nor empowered to make rulings of law or fact in cases involving water law or even “environmental law.”
- Would not the correct duty and response of our local and state government be to identify and solve actual water quality and quantity problems, when and where they exist?
- If the denial of land use should ever be necessary, should such a “taking” (for public benefit) be compensated for? The Washington State Constitution addresses takings.
Thanks to all who showed up tonight, called the Council, wrote them emails and letters…You Showed Up and that Made All the Difference.
~ Kris Halterman