[EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect different opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at [email protected].]
by Earl Gipson
Phony stakeholder meetings short on stakeholders
If you were going to lose thousands in equity in your property because of regulatory changes would you start changing those regulations? Of course you would, but some City of SeaTac staffers don’t think so.
Calm down. Not ragging on the staff in general. I will name the proper names.
Don Robinett is SeaTac’s Storm Water Compliance Manager and Low Impact Development (LID) a Subset of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
Mr. Robinett chose to invite contractors and suppliers who would profit from LID to a stakeholders meeting and exclude those stakeholders who would have to pay for it. Anyone having a property of 14,400 Sq Ft or more (dividable and developable property), the costs of tests, monitoring, and inspections will come right off the top of your equity regardless if you sell it to another developer or not. These are the real stakeholders and could cost them/you $10,000 and up of value (I’m being very conservative).
Do we even need a Strom Water Compliance Manager (with two subordinates)? Unless they are inserted into our drainage systems during a storm to divert water, I would say not.
Tree retention was also included in the LID proposal by Mr. Robinett (which took a two-year Herculean effort for the Citizens to defeat in 2008. Private Citizens had to organize/contact stakeholders to allow us to grow, maintain, and cultivate trees on our own private property. Some of those honored citizens now sit on our Council. Again this was one “Richard Head” (French for Steve Butler-former SeaTac Director of Planning) staff member making his own fiefdom and grinding the Citizens and businesses under his heal. This is a story in itself and is extremely germane to the current $18.3 million judgment against the city. Mr. Butler has escaped justice thus far. That story will have to wait. Let’s continue.
LID forces property owners/developers to use methods of construction and materials in storm water control that are known to fail, known for high maintenance, and yet they must be warranted by the builders/property owners. The peddlers of this stuff/crap were the ones invited to the “stakeholders” meeting.
Will Appleton, SeaTac Public Works Director-Robinett’s boss and Traffic Impact Fees (TIF).
Should anyone subdivide (properties (14,400 Sq Ft) you will find your TIF tripled for peak trip hours. Mr. Appleton drove this effort. He had a stakeholders meeting AFTER the Planning Commission made their recommendation and one day before the Council meeting where action was to be taken. Again the same affected property owners were not invited to this designed to be useless stakeholders meeting.
Systemic/intentional exclusion and limitation to property owners/stakeholders input
Some members of staff (both past and present) and previous councilmembers have vigorously fought attempts by the citizens and businesses of this city to be informed of changes that directly affect the use/rights of their property, the costs, and loss of equity as a result. Mr. Robinette and Mr. Appleton of the present staff (coincidently or not, both coming from the City of Federal Way), by their recent actions are of this ilk and need to resign/move on or change. If you are a property owner in SeaTac, they are currently not your friends and the rules don’t apply to them (kind of like Congress).
Property owners/businesses have become Enemies of the State and a cash cow for expanding bureaucratic fiefdoms. Our SeaTac Citizens and businesses have fought hard to maintain our property rights but it has become Whack-a-Mole and a full time job to monitor the “Richard Heads” as they plan the past, present, and future rape of your wallet, rights, and any equity you may have built. The will even steal your property (Kingen V SeaTac). I have just identified the two most recent moles on our staff that need whacking.
Honorable mole mention goes to SeaTac Senior City Planner Mike Scarey who is retiring after giving us his parting gift of the Critical Area Ordinance (which is also being rammed down our throats by the self-serving, self-approving Department of Ecology). His ability not to answer questions, but talking in circles (hours putting you to sleep) is something you had to witness over the years. Happy retirement Mike and we hope you get/have everything that’s coming to you.
Low Impact Development is just another way to shove regulations up your private parts, relieve you of your equity, and to make sure housing remains unaffordable so politicians and City staffs can cry for more money to counteract their own stupidity and lack of economic sense. Defending our property rights is a constant battle as government entities wrest them away from you at every opportunity.
Will get to you….
I am sorry Councilmember “no, the City did nothing wrong” Tony Anderson. I promised I would write about you but more important things keep cropping up. Be patient. You can always step down in the meantime and save me the effort and listening to your B.S. and your ability to tear up on demand (I throw up in my mouth a little when you do that). I know what your response will be. Golly!
Of course the Cactus song selection
I was a fern in a past life.
The Highwayman (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson)- 1985