Mount Dallas transparency | Letters

Read a Journal article about this issue here.

There is a very expensive legal battle going on in San Juan County Superior Court. Mount Dallas residents are being sued by an individual Mount Dallas resident in order to involve the courts to make long term decisions about how, what, and why to charge for road paving and maintenance that will influence locally owned roads on the Island and throughout the state for years to come.

The court will decide the facts and define the law but will it make any provision for oversight of the residents or associations that collect and disperse the monies? And will it establish qualifications for individuals making the decisions that other residents will be responsible for paying?

I live on Mount Dallas and I witnessed misrepresentation and association board-level deceit when funds were being raised for the 2010 repaving. My fear is that it can happen again and I’d like to see the court embody some ruling that will make it less possible for some folks to take advantage of other folks. Transparency is probably a big part of the answer, but will the court mandate any? Who will be allowed to make decisions about what work is necessary? Who will choose the contractor and why? Who will judge the best price and quality? I’ve witnessed unethical and dishonest behavior in these situations and kickbacks in the form of favors and money are all too common. Unfortunately, misuse of funds and taking advantage of others happens in real life. Decisions and costs must be fairly decided and presented. Details should be out in the open for all to see. We all know what happened at the San Juan Community Theatre without proper oversight. If it happened there – it can happen anywhere.

I hope some will join me in petitioning the court to provide oversight, regardless of what is decided about how to determine “fair share” costs. It’s equally important to impose transparency, establish requirements for qualifications and make provisions for oversight.

Rikki Swin

Mount Dallas

San Juan Island