Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Corruption: Lake Whatcom Reconveyance

I presented this in open session to the Whatcom County Council two weeks ago. 

Honorable council members, 
It has come to my attention that the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance has once again wormed its way onto the Tuesday agenda – this time without a hearing – at the behest of narrow special interests attempting to create the illusion of broad support.  
This effort has already removed a large amount of land from future private use and/or private ownership. This land is already “protected” inasmuch as proponents desired that. Therefore, the matter before you now is the final reckoning. Do We the People of Whatcom County really need an additional 8,700 acres of park? Does this amalgam of DNR land and trust parcels represent the correct  8,700  acres? Is this really the most pressing need at this time? 
What say the county meet all of its fundamental responsibilities of legitimate services to its citizens (e.g., a new jail) before it takes on any more responsibility for land ownership and management?!  You already have the land tied up in trusts; why not just leave it that way? If Bellinghamsters want a playground or a nature preserve, let them make a private park, on their own dime. Please do not saddle the rest of the county with that expense. Further, the justifications for this “preserve” or park for wildlife management, transportation, and watershed protection are a distortion of roles that do not apply to the Parks department.  
 A safe jail is a legitimate and essential function of government. Parks are nice to have, but they are not essential government functions, even if someone could objectively prove they would “help the environment”. Please direct your efforts to the far more urgent needs of Whatcom County citizens.   
Karl Uppiano, etc.

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