Mason County government has never been the poster child for transparency, but what happened to one rural community should be a wake-up call for us all (see “County road project stumbles” MCJ July 11th.)
A tort claim has been filed against the City of Shelton over the City’s solid waste contract with Mason County Garbage. The following was submitted by Tom Lowe and Randy Lewis as a Citizen’s Editorial:
Solid waste ratepayers have filed a tort claim against the City of Shelton.
Below is text from the tort claim, which describes egregious features of the City’s solid waste contract with Mason County Garbage, in addition to some of the misleading and false information presented to the public.
On March 20, the Board of Mason County Commission approved a resolution to establish a Citizen Budget Committee tasked with prioritizing 2019 budget expenses and making recommendations aimed at cutting costs and/or increasing revenues.
Citizen budget committees are nothing new, and they are a good idea. However, as is sometimes the case, good ideas do not always have good outcomes, especially when the process is manipulated, which is the case here.
Regarding the county budget, it seems everyone is in an all-fired hurry to move forward before learning from past mistakes. But without stopping to contemplate those lessons, our economic future holds no better outlook than our past. We all know this, yet there still appears to be no appetite for introspection. So here’s what needs to be done:
According to Mason County Commissioners, the reason for a tax increase initiative on the November ballot is because revenues are not keeping pace with the cost of providing services. But let’s not forget that the primary function of the commission is, precisely, to monitor those forces over time and take whatever appropriate, incremental, measures are necessary to bring about a balance. Perhaps if the commissioners had spent less time micro-managing other departments and more on their own, mandated, duties we might not be in this situation.
For those who have not yet voted, you really need to decide as to whether the legislators of the 35th District will represent you and your neighbors, or will they be the tool of the powerful in Olympia. I believe the answer to this question can be found in Public Disclosure Commission data relating to the source of their campaign contributions.