Opinion

Couple goes in search of the facts

"Just the facts." That is what the Snoqualmie Planning

Commission requested from the public when they opened the public comment period

on Falls Crossing, a Puget Western (PSE) development located

above Snoqualmie Falls.

"This is not a popularity contest to be debated by like or dislike."

So, we went in search of the facts.

For five months we have been trying to get someone from WSFW

to provide some very simple information about wildlife issues on the

Falls Crossing Development property. What began as a simple series of

communications requesting habitat requirements and counts for pileated

woodpeckers has evolved into a scandal.

No one at WSFW Mill Creek office was aware of the project nor

did they have record of having received the EIS information, etc. The city

sent them more copies. Further calls and letters informed us (local citizens)

that the method of communication is "If there is something wrong, we will

let you know; if you do not hear from us, then you have our go ahead."

When trying to find out which individuals at WSFW had reviewed

the information, no names could be provided. Letters, e-mails and phone

calls finally inspired Carol Bordin, our area Wildlife Habitat Biologist to write

a letter to the city expressing several concerns regarding the water

quality, fish, etc. She recommended further studies be done. The immediate

response was an attempt by Puget Western to discredit her authority and

experience.

In an attempt to get the facts, the commission and city

requested WSFW send someone in person to a meeting. Carol Bordin and others

were invited repeatedly. Unfortunately their answer was to not respond.

Months later, we find that Carol had never received any of the invitations.

On March 2 Carol finally received her personal direct invitation. In

good faith she communicated with our city staff, arranging which meeting

she should attend. She hoped to bring additional regional experts to the

March 20 meeting. On March 10, Carol was transferred to a different regional

office.

Will our planning commission ever know exactly what Carol was

trying to tell them?

Great news, our desperate pleas this morning to as many

high-level WSFW officials as we could reach must have worked. Carol's boss

just called the city and said he would like to attend Monday's meeting.

Our thanks to Dr. Joseph P. Koenings, State Director of WSFW; Jill

Montgomery and Greg Huckel for accomplishing in one day what we had tried to do

for months.

DAN AND LINDA NELSON

Snoqualmie

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