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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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July 31, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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July 31, 2014
 

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!1 I Ii li!1 , r T Page A-4 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, July 31,2014 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Fight night at county meeting Editor, the Journal At the end of a long and emotional bout, two Mason County Commis- sioners, Randy Neatherlin and Terri Jeffreys, flexed their political muscles and voted "yes" to lift the recently imposed moratorium on cannabis growers. Out in the lobby, the decision brought a packed house to its feet, moving a couple of spectators to break into a "Rocky Balboa'-style victory dance. Although the marijuana issue was the main event, there Were also two warm-up contests on the evening's fight card. The first involved designat- ing target areas for tax exempt low income housing in the three UGAs (Urban Growth Areas) of Shelton, Allyn and Belfair. Selecting areas in Shelton and Allyn was a no-brainer; their UGAs are served by central sewer systems, a mandatory crite- rion. But Belfair was another mat- ter. Though residents served by the first phase of the sewer system - the only phase operational -- were still dazed and reeling from the effects of $100-per-month bills, commissioners decided to deliver a haymaker concen- tration of low-income housing to the same area. The second contest was even more punishing. Matched against a Green Diamond Resource Co. request to change county code to allow for non- contiguous open space in high density developments, the commissioners took a dive. And though the decision to tag-team the public was unanimous, the adopted changes to Title 16 of the Mason County Development Code will likely hit the canvas when challenged before the Growth Management Hear- ings Board. But the upset of the evening goes to the attending public for sitting through nearly four hours of politi- cal footwork and verbal jabs without storming the ring; from the opening bell it was clear that the fix on all three hearings was in even before pub- lic comments were heard. Why commissioners chose to sched- ule three important hearings on one card is anyone's guess. But if they thought the public didn't have the legs to go the distance, they were wrong. And though there were no knock- out punches or blood drawn by any of the combatants, it was clear to all who attended that, in the arena of Mason County politics, the Mar- quess of Queensbury rules no longer apply. Tom Davis Shelton Nulify North Mason's surplus of Theler Center Editor, the Journal A special North Mason School Board meeting was held June 23 with about 24 hours notice. Board member Dinah Griffey was absent. There were about 11 people in the audience, the most I've seen at a school board meet- ing for a while. The board talked for more than an hour about Mary E. Theler Commu- nity Center issues, with handouts for the audience. Board directors John Campbell and Art Wightman seemed to talk the lon- gest, defending their vote to "surplus" the Theler property and the need to educate the public about what "sur- plus" means. In my opinion, all "surplusing does is just cloud the issue and sweep re- sponsibility under the rug. The four board members also ex- pressed concerns about the use of levy money currently supporting Theler operations. They plan to conduct an online survey before a public forum, scheduled for Aug. 14. It seems to me most of Theler's problems started about the same time the school board instituted "policy governance" (2007-2008) and current board directors Laura Boad, Campbell, and Wightman appointed Superintendent David Peterson to the Salmon Center board of directors and Mel Coffman to the Theler board of directors. Could it be that the real failure of Theler rests with the school board and Peterson? Is that why there seems to be no progress on the Ma- son County Sheriffs Office investiga- tion? Bottom line -- the school board should nullify the motion to surplus the property and the Sheriffs Office shouldbe allowed to finish their inves- tigation. Ken VanBuskirk Belfair could help teachers teach Editor, the Journal I bungled through Washington's K-12 system before most here were born. In the interim the adjusted cost per student has more than quintupled and the quality of education is flat to maybe a little down. That's what happens when we look to government to provide stuff. We get less for more. There's a way to get more for less in education, as everywhere else. That's to allow the robust competition that en- courages disruptive and endless chains of innovation; encourages and rewards merit and punishes incompetence. Easier said than done. The folks who wrote our governing documents were sharp cookies who realized that decent education is key see LETTERS, page A-5 Mason County USPS 492-800 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mason County Journal, RO. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. Published weekly by the Mason County Journal at 227 West Cota Street, Shelton, Washington Mailing address: RO. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584 Telephone (360) 426-4412.www.masoncounty.com Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, Washington Mason County Joumal is a Owned and published by Advertising: Composing room: member of Washington Newspaper Shelton-Msson County Journal, Inc. Dave Piedk, Sr. Acct. Executive William Adams, graphics Publishers' Association. Tom Hyde, publisher Kathy Brooks, ad representative Linda Frizzell, graphics Lloyd Mullen, ad representative SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Newsroom: Adam Rudnick, editor Front office: $37 per year for Mason County Natalie Johnson, reporter Donna Kinnaird, bookkeeper addresses, Gordon Weeks, reporter "Amanda Elson, circulation $51 per year in state of Washington Emily Hanson, sports reporter but outside Mason County, $61 per Kirk Ericson, proofreader year out of state. All editorial, advertising and legal deadlines are 5 p.m. Monday prior to publication. To submit a letter to the editor, email letters@masoncounty.com.