After three years, scores of meetings and hundreds of public comments, the Thurston Regional Planning Council has adopted the first-ever countywide sustainability plan. The new Sustainable Thurston plan is a positive step toward ending the sprawling development patterns of the past half century.
The plan is far from perfect but for the first time recognizes the inherent connections between a whole litany of serious issues facing the community – loss of farmland, climate change, population growth, failing infrastructure and dwindling government resources just to name a few — and proposes specific actions designed to leverage multiple benefits.
As an active citizen participant in the planning process, I watched our region’s elected officials and planners listen intently, think creatively and find more common ground than they or I ever thought possible. This is the essence of leadership, and these officials should be commended for their efforts.
As The Olympian recently reported, a small but vocal group came forward at the very end to try to derail the process based on threats, a total misunderstanding of what is actually in the plan and delusional conspiracy theories complete with black helicopters and the looming United Nations takeover of our community.
Fortunately, with the exception of Port Commissioner George Barner, our regional leaders did not give in to these ill-informed and paranoid bullies. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and work together to implement the plan and create a sustainable community for future generations.