Sidebar: Statistics from Public Testimony for proposed WRIA 18 Watershed Management Plan
Citizen Review Online
As a result of attending the public hearings held in September and October 2004, and then reviewing the staff report, our staff determined to review the records because there appeared to be discrepancies between the staff report and what we witnessed at the public hearings. We obtained a CD of the verbal testimonies for review, along with the 579 pages of submitted written testimony.
Our initial review disclosed that in the public verbal testimony,
there were as follows:
By removing the testimony of the WRIA team members, who would obviously
be for the plan they created, the numbers are more clear:
These would indicate a clear consensus of individuals who were against the plan, as written. Most called for a remand to the planning teams for further work.
Going to the letters submitted as testimony, we reviewed each and every letter submitted as testimony to the county commissioners.
There were 415 testimonies submitted, some of which were written by the same person. These will be addressed below. Based on raw data of this figure, there were 57 statements in favor of the plan, as proposed; 349 against the plan as proposed; and 339 requests that the plan be remanded for changes.
If testimony given by “team” members and agencies are discounted, the number in favor of passing the plan as written is reduced by 25 letters, leaving 32 proponents of the plan.
7.71% of the written testimony favored passing the plan as written.
After reducing to one each of those who had written more than one testimony, the numbers are as follows: Total individuals presenting written testimony: 386; those favoring the plan as written (including team members and agency personnel): 47; those opposed to the plan as written: 330; those requesting the plan be remanded: 324.
If testimony given by “team” members and agencies are discounted, the number in favor of passing the plan as written is reduced by 17, leaving 30 proponents of the plan.
7.77% of the written testimony favored passing the plan as written.
Since the public "testimony" was closed on October 16, 2004,only two testimonies or comments about the proposed Plan were delivered to the BOCC until approximately January 31, 2005 - just a few days before the "Focus Session" was to be held. At that time, emails began to flow into the County Commissioners' office. Public disclosure was made of these at the Focus Session meeting held on February 2, 2005, when County Commissioner Mike Chapman stated they (BOCC) had been receiving public input in favor of passing the proposed plan "as written", by approximately 3 to 1.
On February 7th, 2005, we reviewed the emails that had come into the commissioners' office. There were 39 emails received. Of those, one was from Seattle, WA ( a non-resident and activist in the Democrat Party). Eighty-two percent (32 of the emails sent) strongly supported the BOCC passing the proposed plan "as is", which 18% (7 of the emails sent), were in favor of remanding the proposed plan for additional work. The statistics are just about 100% reverse of the written and oral "testimony" given in September and October by the 415 citizens. The two Focus Sessions also offered a majority of people favoring remand for more work, not passage "as written". Our staff will be following this portion of the story, and will report further.
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