Only viable choice for waste transfer station is the Sutton Road site
May 11, 2009 · 10:54 AM
The Solid Waste Advisory Committee should not take the County Council's transfer site decision as a vote against the SWAC site recommendation.
The head of SWAC noted and directed the SWAC board many times: "The SWAC board is not to consider ... That is not the job of the SWAC board ..." For example, the SWAC board was not to consider things like: the costs of each site, the duplication of services, the environmental issues, the taking over of services that are currently being provided by private enterprises, etc.
The SWAC leader pointed out that considering those facts and concerns was not the job of the SWAC committee, and that the County Council would consider those facts. The only job of the SWAC committee was to pick the best site for a transfer station, without considering all the factors. Many of us pointed out you can’t pick the best spot without considering all the factors, but that was not to be the way for the SWAC committee.
Thank you, County Council, for hearing all the concerns, and considering all of the factors and not limiting the public information that needed to be considered. In view of the cost factors, the duplication of services issues, the environmental issues, you really never had any other viable choice, other than the Sutton Road site.
The system actually worked the way it should have, and the factors that the SWAC committee was told not to consider, were finally considered. Unfortunately, it did leave some of the volunteer SWAC members with hurt feelings.
The biggest problem with the SWAC board was that it was made up of at least seven members who had an ax to grind or a personal interest in the outcome. Volunteer boards work best when they are comprised of members who share a wide spectrum of community interests and views.
Hopefully, we can all move on to figuring out how to provide the best services for the least amount of cost to our community.
Frank M. Penwell
San Juan Island