Here are Letters to the Editor for October 20, 2016
Against the Voluntary Stewardship Program
Last Thursday evening I attended a meeting of the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) planning committee. My observation was that Ms. Rene Holaday is the only one in the group with her eyes wide open to the end game objective which is private property control.
The State legislature approved the Growth Management Act (GMA) under RCW 36.70A in 1995; included within this Act was a provision for a Voluntary Stewardship Program at RCW 36.70A.700. The stated objective of the GMA is to manage urban growth and economic development – at least in the larger counties. But also included within the goals is an objective to manage open spaces and recreation, environmental concerns and wildlife habitat and to enhance natural resource industries which includes timber and agricultural purposes.
The VSP program is a means by which the State “allows” local citizens the opportunity to plan their own stewardship activities while remaining subject to the Growth Management Act as a whole. The County Plan will be subject to the approval of the State Agency that governs the implementation and oversight of the GMA. The idea behind the GMA, at least as far as providing for urban growth, sprawl, and community services like fire and police protection, and economic development has its merits but the scope of this act goes far beyond these logical implications. The VSP process was written into the original act and is a means by which an unacceptable outcome can be effectively introduced into an unwilling or non-compliant community by making it appear to be something that it is not. The ultimate objective of this Act and this VSP program is total control of your property.
As citizens who participate in this process you get to determine, subject to a State Agency approval, what actions and activities will be allowed on yours and your neighbor’s property. If you later object, well, the reply is simply, “this is what you wanted; you approved these activities, now we will enforce them.” It was stated that 28 counties have opted for the VSP program instead of GMA. These are the 28 counties that are below the threshold for the mandatory GMA implementation. This is not a Voluntary Program, it is an either or program. The best response would be to work with legislators to rescind the original act or to challenge the constitutionality of the Law in State Court. Accepting the premise that VSP is an alternative to GMA is compromise and compromise is almost always a road to destruction.
Endorses McMorris Rodgers
Ballots will soon be arriving for the most important election cycle in a generation. The decisions we make for the US Congress and Senate are critical to the future and survival of our Republic.
Republican Cathy McMorris-Rodgers is the fourth ranking member of Congress and a constitutional conservative. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers supports a balanced budget amendment, repeal of ObamaCare and the rebuilding of our military. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers is a tenacious defender of our second amendment as well as our national borders.
The Congresswoman also rightly supports our Republican Nominee for President.
By stark contrast and in opposition to many of our American values stands Democrat Joe Pakootas. The Democrat challenger supports restricting our second amendment rights and the failed ObamaCare mandates.
Pakootas also supports policies that will hamper economic growth including a $15 plus state wide minimum wage.
A significant contributor to Washington’s economy are the dams located on the Columbia River. 81 people have lost their lives in the construction and maintenance of Grand Coulee alone and Pakootas would have it demolished.
Joe Pakootas is bad for Washington State and would help to destroy an already struggling economy.
The choice in the race for Senate is even more self-evident. Chris Vance, the Republican candidate, patterns his platform after Ronald Reagan’s philosophies. The Democrat Incumbent Patty Murray has proven to be a rubber stamp for virtually every position and program that Barack Obama has advanced.
Please join me in voting for Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Chris Vance in this election.
United States Navy Chief Petty Officer (ret)
Vote Bill Bryant for Governor
It boggles the mind. How can we the citizens of Washington still consider voluntarily electing a Governor so woefully incompetent? Jay Inslee’s mismanagement of the departments of correction and transportation would be laughable if they weren’t so serious. Inslee is a career politician who supports a State Income tax and carbon tax. He asked for specific legislation, which he subsequently vetoed in the name of partisan game-playing. He doesn’t even have the support of the legislature, as evidenced by twenty-four of his vetoes having been overturned by 2/3 vote of Democrat and Republican House and Senate Legislators. Talk about gridlock!
It’s time for a change. Bill Bryant is a businessman and Elected Port Commissioner. He has worked in a bipartisan way to create and protect jobs all across our state. He opposes economy-stagnating policies like a state income Tax and a Carbon Tax. He is a proponent of zero base budgeting and placing a moratorium on new state Agency regulations until existing regulations are reviewed. Mr. Bryant opposes statewide increase in the minimum wage. He is the governor we need.
Unless of course Washingtonians vote to re-elect Inslee….then I suppose we will get the governor we deserve.
Vote YES on 1-735
Vote YES, on I-735. Get BIG Money Out of Elections!
The voice of individuals in elections has often been obliterated by large SuperPACS, interest groups, and unlimited, anonymous campaign dollars permitted by the 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs FEC which permitted corporations the same rights as individuals.
I-735 will not limit freedom of speech or freedom of the press, rather keep moneyed interests from having a “louder” voice than individuals. The amendment ensures contributions be regulated and publicly disclosed. Only people have Constitutional rights, not corporations or special interest groups. More information can be found in the Washington Voters’ Pamphlet or WAmend.org.
Make your vote count. Vote YES on 1-735.
Approve school board redistricting
In a few days, voters will receive their ballots in the mail. I would like to draw the attention of your Chewelah-area readers to one aspect of the 2016 Ballot that voters can really feel good about! Chewelah School District Proposition 1—DISSOLUTION AND REAPPORTIONMENT OF DIRECTORS’ DISTRICTS.
I encourage voters to Vote Yes.
Despite the ominous sounding language “dissolution and reapportionment,” this is a positive thing! This measure is an important step towards broadening citizen participation in our local school board. Under our current system, individual citizens can only run once every four years and only for a position in their narrowly-defined geographic portion of the Chewelah school district. This limits participation.
It has been years since any race for Chewelah School Board has had more than one candidate. That’s a problem! There is a disconnect between the “will to serve” and the “opportunity to serve.”
Proposition 1 was approved unanimously by current board members after months of discussion. It protects geographic representation while also allowing for the creation of two At-Large positions. Let’s reinvigorate the representative governance of our local school board. Vote Yes on Prop 1.
Terry Williams for Judge
I am casting my vote for Terry Williams as Superior Court Judge, Position 2, and I’d like to tell you why. First, Terry has 24 years of courtroom experience doing motions and trials. Court attorneys must know the law and facts to research and prepare a case for the judge to hear. They have to know the other party’s facts and what law the other party thinks applies. They need to analyze and know what the judge is likely to decide. In essence, Terry’s experience as courtroom attorney means he has been going through a same or similar thought process as a judge — except for making the decisions — for 24 years!
I have known Terry for over 20 years and have worked with him on innumerable community service projects. He has a genuine interest in and respect for all people and cares enough to devote a good portion of his free time to helping individuals and serving the community. He does not view a person as just a “case” but as someone with feelings and families. He listens intently to discern what is truly needed – not just a quick fix. One time, Terry became aware of a disabled woman who needed help moving. He recruited volunteers, used his own truck and several partial days to help her move to a nearby community. He and his wife then checked in with her periodically, offering assistance. A couple of years later they then helped her move again to be closer to medical care. I have observed this type of personal kindness again and again. Exemplary personal character is who Terry Williams is. Please join me in voting for a man with preeminent personal integrity – he will never spin the truth or just tell people what they want to hear. He is the type of person we need serving our community. Please vote for Terry!
Voters should re-elect Kim Wyman
In the midst of the angry world of politics, which seems uglier by the day, we should all be grateful that Washington’s elections are trustworthy, accurate, and run by Secretary of State Kim Wyman. She’s a leader who has kept Washington’s edge in voter registration, turnout, and ballot security.
Washington is consistently ranked at or near the top of the nation in voter turnout, number of voters registered, and election innovations. On top of that, Washington has made strides to keep our voting secure, ensuring that while it is easy for eligible voters to vote, we maintain the integrity of elections. Secretary Wyman led us to these accomplishments.
Unfortunately, Secretary Wyman’s opponent has not shown such concern for our elections. Her partisan and misleading attacks betray her lack of understanding of the office and her inexperience. Her call to unlawfully cancel our May Presidential Primary after voting had already begun would have suppressed over 1.4 million votes. We cannot afford to hand this office off to a hyper-partisan and grossly unqualified politician.
It is clear that Secretary Wyman is the best person for this job. The vast majority of current county election directors and county auditors endorse her, including elections leaders like Ferry County Diana Galvan, Stevens Auditor Tim Gray, Lincoln County Shelly Johnston, and Pend Oreille County Marianne Nichols.
Republican, Democratic, and non-partisan officials endorse Kim Wyman because she’s the only candidate in the race with the qualifications and commitment to run our elections in a non-partisan and trustworthy manner.
All election administrators must be committed to the ideal of impartial and non-partisan administration of elections. We urge all voters to re-elect Secretary of State Kim Wyman, and keep Washington a national leader in voting.
By Sam Reed, Ralph Munro, Bruce Chapman, former Washington
Secretaries of State