Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Oct. 31

Phyllis Booth is best choice for Olympia City Council

Phyllis Booth is the best choice for addressing the affordable housing crisis. As a high school teacher, I see first hand the impact of housing insecurity, and I am frustrated by the lack of serious action in local government.

Unlike Seattle that reached a compromise with developers and passed “Mandatory Housing Affordability” as part of a neighborhood up-zone deal, the city of Olympia passed its “Missing Middle” up-zone with zero requirements for affordable housing. At the same time the city council voted to eliminate environmental impact assessments and on-site parking requirements for high-density neighborhood developments.

On top of that, the city has voted to give tax breaks and impact fee discounts (taxpayer subsidies) to developers building luxury condos. If the city is going to give tax breaks, subsidies and incentives to developers, it needs to attach meaningful housing affordability requirements.

The sad truth is that the council appears to be working more for developers and investors than city residents. We need a change. Phyllis Booth has been leading the fight at the grassroots to get the city to rethink its approach. She has the backbone to stand up to the real estate interests, fight to protect our neighborhoods and the local environment, and work on a serious plan to meet our affordable housing needs.

I strongly encourage voters to vote for Phyllis Booth for Olympia City Council.

Jeff Sowers, Olympia

Re-elect Joe Downing for Port Commissioner

I’m writing in support of Joe Downing’s re-election as Port of Olympia Commissioner Nov. 5.

I’m a local boater and for decades Olympia lacked a fuel dock, so I and many local fellow boaters encountered difficulties fueling our boats. We traveled significant distances to other ports for fuel, or worse, put fuel in our tanks by hand, a very risky practice and at the time our only alternative.

In his first term as Port Commissioner, and building off his work with the Port’s Citizens Advisory Committee, Joe worked hard with the local community to make the fuel dock happen.

Now I can fuel up and pump out my holding tanks right at Swantown Marina, which saves time and hassle. But the fuel dock doesn’t just help me and the other 8,000 Thurston County registered boaters. It helps the environment by reducing fuel burned traveling to refuel, the risk of fuel spills that occur when refueling with a gas can, and in providing an easy place to pump holding tanks. The fuel dock also helps our local economy in giving visiting boaters, who spend money while here, an easy place to refuel when they travel to the southernmost part of Puget Sound.

Help keep Olympia environmentally safe, prosperous and a good place to visit by re-electing Joe Downing as Port Commissioner.

Del DeTray, Olympia