The Wellington Hills Sports Complex? No, it's NOT a done deal!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

my response to things stated in the Woodinville Weekly article

After you've read the Woodinville Weekly article about the Parks Advisory Board and their vote approving of the Wellington Hills Park plan ... I want to comment on Tom Tiegen's remarks about those who oppose his park plan.   

The first public meeting on the proposed park was held on May 8, 2012. And at that meeting, Tom Tiegen told the audience that the park in the form of a regional sports complex was a "done deal".  He then went on to say many of the same things that are in the Woodinville Weekly - people’s initial resistance and their eventual surrender to the park’s construction. 

As for the mentioned public process - I guess it depends on what "public process" means. At the first meeting, Tiegen stated he wanted to start construction on the park in October 2012. On that schedule, the tree cutters and bulldozers were to begin their work less than five months after the first public meeting.

Questions? The meetings at Brightwater were primarily slide-show and poster board presentations showing the various iterations of the Master Plan. The audience was encouraged to write questions on cards and to pass them to someone from the county. At one meeting, someone finally had an opportunity to ask about the SEPA process ... but Tiegen quickly took the mic away and re-directed the audience to come forward and look at the various drawings that were placed around the room.

The Wellington Hills Park plan is probably the largest single project of this type ever initiated within Snohomish County.  With that in mind, why hasn’t the proposed plan been throughly reviewed in the same any other major project is studied and reviewed?  For example, the Brightwater sewage plant site was rigorously studied, rigorously scrutinized and publicly reviewed by citizen groups, experts and numerous panels.  

This is Washington State - there are legal ways of doing these things and we typically don't rush into expensive projects. Yes, decisions can take time. And yes, studies and reviews are potentially expensive - but, isn’t that the idea - to get it right? 

Shouldn’t we do it right, rather than fast-track a major but non-essential project into construction? The consequences of sorting out problems afterwards is not only frustrating and messy, but typically more expensive - and quite possibly, no one will be happy.

Bill Stankus
Thanksgiving 2012

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