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June 17, 2019

5/15/2019 4:43:00 PM
Campaign issues need candidates
A citizen's view

By Dan O’Donnell
I would like to invite anyone with the energy and smarts to file for local offices in La Conner. I would do it, but I am too old. The County Auditor is taking applications until 4:30 p.m. Friday. There is a $36 filing fee.
We have two council positions open, those of Jacques Brunisholz and Mary Wohleb. The mayor’s position is also open.
Here are some issues that have been overlooked but need some attention. Maybe one of them interests you.
Taxes. I believe that, when a county taxing district disappears, the taxes that it used to collect should also disappear. But, that is not the case with Shelter Bay and Pull & Be Damned. Under the Great Wolf Lodge decision these taxes were shifted to the greater La Conner area. If you live in La Conner, you have to pay, on average, an extra $328.28 in 2019.
Meanwhile, four of the nine taxing districts affected by the decision negotiated contracts with the Swinomish Tribe to pay for services rendered. These taxing districts do not deduct the amount they get from the Tribe from their annual levy request. They keep on requesting the same, or higher, levy each year. They should be required to deduct the contracted amount, otherwise they are double dipping. The extra tax load could be reduced to $10.76 if they were required to do so. The Mayor and Town Council show no interest.
Kirsch property. The council violated La Conner Municipal Code Chapter 3.70 when they voted to list the Kirsch property. This action was not on the agenda. The public process was avoided, and they failed to get an appraisal as required by the code. We need council members who will follow the code, and do not say “We don’t have to follow that stuff”.
I&I. Inflow and infiltration accounts for 60 percent of the water that the sewer plant processes. We have an old and leaky collection system, but the Town Council does nothing about it. The Tribe’s percentage of flow, currently 27 percent, would be increased to about 50 percent, and the amount they pay, would increase if I&I could be reduced.
Tribe sewer contract. This 1997 contract needs to be opened and reviewed. It is based on absolute numbers for biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids. These were set high for the fish plant, but that is now closed. This needs to be set at 300/mgl for BOD and 250/mgl for TSS, the industry standard.
La Conner resident Dan O’Donnell has been county treasurer and La Conner town councilmember and mayor.

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