Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Nov. 2

Vote Joe Downing for Port innovation

I support the re-election of Joe Downing as Port Commissioner for Port of Olympia. In his first term as Commissioner Joe had several accomplishments, including, with his fellow commissioners, hiring a new Executive Director and putting the Port on a firmer financial footing.

One particular accomplishment of Joe’s I’d like to highlight because it illustrates his innovative problem-solving skills is the Port’s Westman Mill remediation and development. For years the Westman Mill site stood vacant behind a rickety fence on Olympia’s State Avenue.. Suffering from legacy pollution incurred prior to Port ownership, Westman Mill was a poster child for urban blight. In 2017, following extensive work with the Washington Department of Ecology, the Port launched an environmental cleanup. And in 2018 the Port signed a ground lease with a local developer to turn Westman Mill into a mixed-use property with one floor of retail and five floors of apartments above.

The Port’s Westman Mill vision and execution is a win/win. Through environmental remediation wasteland becomes productive property while improving Olympia’s environment. From ground rents the Port will have the funds and know-how for additional cleanup efforts. Olympia families will benefit from the increased housing supply and having a nicer neighborhood to live in or visit. The City of Olympia expands its tax base and gets an excellent example of the urban density required to accommodate Olympia’s future population growth.

If this innovative problem-solving approach appeals to you, I urge to you vote Joe Downing.

Dick Binns, Olympia

Elected officials shouldn’t have carte blanche

Concerning I-976 and its promoter Tim Eyman: I don’t know Mr. Eyman but I have always appreciated what he has done and continues to do regarding our tax dollars. He wants to hold our politicians accountable for their reckless spending habits — really accountable, as in line-by-line reports of exactly where every tax dollar goes when it is entrusted to our leaders.

We are currently seeing how the Seattle City Council is poorly handling the money earmarked for the homeless and we can expect more of the same if Washingtonians vote to just hand over billions more to politicians and agencies who spend it like drunken sailors. Our politicians and finance directors need an oversight committee, but then we already have one in Tim Eyman.

Don’t be fooled by the ads. Demand full accountability from our elected officials.

Bob Hill, Olympia
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