Sue Taylor contributes this perspective. She addresses it to the leadership of the Whatcom chapter of the Washington Conservation Voters (WCV).
This is the first year in over a dozen years that I have found that I could not participate in the WCV's doorbelling. The endorsement of Pike over Linville is incredibly inappropriate. Did no one on the board investigate achievements? It seems like you fell for empty sound bites and grandstanding without substance.
Pike's record on the protection of our drinking water supply is dismal. His administration made decisions 3 years ago that for all practical purposes ended the land acquisition program (without conferring with the Lake Whatcom Advisory Board) and he stated at the recent Silver Beach Neighborhood forum that while land acquisition to preserve forests and prevent development MIGHT be a reasonable long-term strategy, he thinks that short-term actions are more important and questions the value of land preservation at this time. He fails to understand the role of native forests in storm water management, does not seem to value the preservation of native forests for habitat value, and is not acknowledging that it is all of the impacts from development that are degrading water quality - increased car trips, land disturbance, gardening practices, increase of impervious surfaces, alteration of natural hydrology, etc.
He has totally ignored our rich community history of having the expenditure of our Greenway's levy funds go through citizen oversight. Spent $8.5 million of our levy funds WITHOUT getting an appraisal. Indebted the citizens with repayment for a loan of between $3.5-5 million (depends on interests rates and length of loan) with no revenue stream identified. There was no discussion of the consequences of transferring funds from an important identified project (purchase of land between Lake Padden and I-5) which would have placed our community in the position to get a land bridge across I-5 in the future to connect the trail system for citizens and open up the Chuckanuts to the Cascades for wildlife. He did not even confer with the Greenway Advisory Committee or the Park Advisory Board. Conservation dollars are precious and should be spent to get the most value for now and into the future. An announcement will be made soon that the negotiations to purchase thousands of acres on Galbraith Mountain are falling through. Another lost opportunity.
What is the RESULT from Pike's shouting about the coal trains including the letter to the governor calling the county incompetent? Did it achieve something positive? No, his actions resulted in Bellingham not having a seat at the table to negotiate for Bellingham's best interests. Shouting feels good in the short term but it is not good representation. When someone calls you names and publicly insults you - are you more likely to listen to and act on their concerns? Your choice to participate in the recent distribution of Pike's newest campaign literature that purposefully distorts Linville's position on the SSA terminal is shocking. Past WCV boards had more integrity than take part in dirty politics. Couple that with your decision to actively join in with Pike's deceptive campaigning by not allowing anti-coal train signs in yards with Kelli Linville's signs is ample reason for you to step down before you completely ruin the reputation of this previously fine organization.
I could not be more disappointed. I hope that you demonstrate a sense of community responsibility and publicly acknowledge WCV's part in this shameful untrue, negative campaigning and apologize to Kelli Linville and your members for your role in deceiving the voters. Dirty politics depends on timing. Step up and show some integrity and provide one half of the anti-coal train signs to the Linville campaign before the end of the week or have every single sign removed from all yards immediately and pass them out after the election.