Op/Ed by Jack Johnson: Waterwheel Park

Why would anyone be against the Waterwheel Park, which would become the first real park in the Belfair UGA? This Park and expanded trail network, including an ADA fishing pond, would be a beautiful attraction for all ages.

But wait a minute, something fishy is going on! Ted Jackson is actively trying to stop it. Jackson, using his Port of Allyn email, declaring himself a Port Commissioner and Chair of the Port of Allyn, lobbied the Mason County Commission against the Park without the consent of the other two Port Commissioners. Jackson sent emails to Mason County, saying “As a Port of Allyn Commissioner and current Chair I do not support the current proposal. I understand why and who is behind this request”.
The proponent partnership of the Park, North Mason School District, Port of Allyn, State of Washington, and Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group was only asking the Mason County Commission to support the project. No Mason County funds were requested. Jackson went rogue and broke from the Port of Allyn commission, promoting his own agenda without a vote and against the wishes of the other two port of Allyn commissioners, who wholeheartedly support the park project. Equally disappointing, after the email was sent to the Mason County Commission, Commissioner Neatherlin made a motion to support the park, but neither Commissioner Trask nor Shutty would second the motion due to Jackson’s email.
Was there a backdoor conversation between Jackson, Trask, and Shutty? Why should “why and who” matter? What is the basis for denying support of the Park? Being one of hundreds of local citizens to commit in-kind funding and support to this asset for Mason County, I am extremely disappointed.

Jack Johnson, Belfair

One thought on “Op/Ed by Jack Johnson: Waterwheel Park”

  1. Jack,when this was discussed at a Port Comprehensive Plan public update last fall there were only a few people there with only a couple commenting pro and con on this particular project I was suprized to see it make the list. Where were the hundreds of local citizens?
    Unfortunately this site is still an active recognized Ecology cleanup site with elevated arsenic levels, next door to the elementary school that just got a report from FEMA regarding slope stability.
    This project has a tainted history of inappropriate text messaging between two of the current Port of Allyn Commissioners and County Commissioners by one of the main project proponents.

    Just ask them or the Executive Director, its hard to deny the transcripts.

    Ken VanBuskirk

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