Letter writer is uninformed

In the July 6 edition of your newspaper I read a letter to the editor

from a Laurie Baker in which she accused members of the [Snoqualmie]

Planning Commission, and me specifically, of accepting bribes. To be accused

by an obviously uninformed, uninvolved and ill-educated individual as

Ms. Baker of accepting a bribe is at the very least an insult. Shame on you,

Mr. McKiernan, for allowing your newspaper to be used as a public vehicle

to promote lies and slander, especially against individuals who actually

attempt to make a difference within the community.

Ms. Baker is uninformed in many ways, not the least of which in

her statement that I, as a tile contractor, am "anticipating the tile contract

on the 380-some homes to be built" (at Falls Crossing). I'm always

amazed when someone lets something fall out of their mouths without any

knowledge of the facts or of the person they are slandering. First, our

company, Sherman Tile & Interiors, Inc., has never performed any work for

contractors that would probably be building homes at Falls Crossing if it

passes, and we have never done any work on the much larger development

of Snoqualmie Ridge. Most people in this community know we do not

work on large tracts of homes, we work only for small builders who build

single family, custom homes, one at a time.

Further, Ms. Baker has shown everyone how uninformed she is

about the very city in which she lives. If she would ever bother to come into

downtown Snoqualmie, she would know that our building where our

showroom was located is for lease, and that we are attempting to slowly get out of

tile contracting and only work on restoring historic properties in the

Valley. Maybe Ms. Baker will start frequenting downtown Snoqualmie and

actually learn something about her town in person.

Sadly, Ms. Baker is uninvolved, just like so many other citizens of

this little burg. In reviewing the reams of documentation on Falls Crossing

including all the exhibit lists, I am unable to locate so much as a

postcard from Ms. Baker, let alone any statement of fact addressing any issue

we as planning commissioners are required by law to take into

consideration when reviewing projects such as this. Not one word, even after

two separate public comment periods, two public hearings and countless

meetings. It certainly must be nice to sit on the sidelines, wait for decisions to

be made and then attack those that made the decision.

Ms. Baker is ill-educated and shows this in her lack of

understanding of the standards we are required to apply and the lengths we have

gone in order to mitigate impacts, including especially the Snoqualmie

Falls viewshed protection. We cannot stop any project just because we may

not like it, we have to have a legally defensible reason which is based on

the Snoqualmie Comprehensive Plan, the Mixed Use Ordinance, and the

Final EIS.

As to this newspaper and the editor's role in allowing such an

ignominious letter as Ms. Baker's to be printed in the first place, I'm

sure you'll hide behind a loose interpretation of the First Amendment and

plead for the public's "right to know"

rather than, as responsible papers do, editing out such inflammatory,

slanderous and potentially legally actionable commentary. Do you have any reason

to believe Ms. Baker's allegations are true?

Perhaps, in your position as editor of this publication, you would

consider eliminating some of your fillers, maybe one of your eight pages

of sports, and attempt to squeeze in on the Community page a series of

articles educating the local populace — and yourself — on our system of

government in Snoqualmie, what the duties of the planning commission

are, how planning commissioners get the positions in which we serve, what

the duties of the city council are and how the councilmembers get their

positions, etc. Maybe then you and other citizens, like Ms. Baker, would

actually become informed and involved.

K. Dale Sherman

Snoqualmie Planning Commission

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