Guest columnist taken aback

Letter to the Editor

I appreciate the Snoqualmie Valley Record (SVR) continuing a generous narrative on the struggle being played out regarding an element of King County’s “rural character” that I prefer to call “cottage industries and rural jobbers.”

The July 26 article I titled “What has King County forgotten about rural character” was written to be provocative, and assure this epic event would be carried out in full view of the people. I hoped opinions of various sorts would be expressed. Nonetheless, I was taken aback by Ken Konigsmark’s letter SVR published on Aug. 2 stating that I misconstrue what rural character really means, endorse King County’s Rural Economic Strategy and want to “create new loopholes for increased commercial/retail business uses across the rural landscape.”

During the public information meeting King County sponsored July 25 at the Preston Community Center to discuss the matter, Ken Konigsmark stated his “belief is that all of these proposals in large part seek to open loopholes that defeat the purpose of the Growth Management Act (GMA) and are against the concepts of the GMA, which in fact defines the RA zone as the rural residential area, not the rural commercial or business area,” and “in fact industrial and commercial uses are not allowed in the rural area.” I respect his view and agree to a point, but he is out of context with the issue I discussed and GMA. The issue is: cottage industries and rural jobbers, and this differs from the type of uses Ken Konigsmark confuses with GMA prohibitions on industrial and commercial in “rural” areas.

After the Preston meeting, I attempted to speak with Ken Konigsmark about Rural Majority membership and activities. His reply was, “Rural Majority is not seeking to add to its membership; it operates best as a small focus group. Rural Majority members have not expressed interest in taking on new, and/or keeping track of old, memberships.” Is this an illustration of the problem of not interfacing with trouble as it comes?

I am very open to discussing the matter, including GMA goals, with Ken Konigsmark and the Rural Majority members he represented at the Preston event.

Correction: I retract and express regret for this comment in the SVR published July 26: “It’s about protecting the rural minority from an indifferent elected urban majority.” I don’t think the elected urban majority is indifferent.

Paul P. Carkeek