Why would someone vote in favor of this?

Published 6:32 pm Monday, August 6, 2018

To the Editor:

My name is Robert Brooks, and I recently purchased a “retirement” home in Washington. One of the reasons I selected Washington was the small-town feel and quality of life. This proposed quarry and mining project will severely impact this quality of life that I’ve come to cherish so much. From increased air and noise pollution, to increased heavy truck traffic, and significant reductions in nearby property values, etc., I see absolutely no compelling reasons why this proposal should even warrant further discussion, especially since the Planning Committee voted unanimously against it.

I worked in the finance department for a small city in southern California for almost 15 years. Our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was submitted for and earned annual awards from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and the Governmental Finance Officers Association, which is a national-level organization. Being part of a city whose financial reports received awards from CSMFO and GFOA every year I was employed there says something about how that City’s finance dept was organized and run.

As my government accounting instructor told us, public sector accounting isn’t concerned so much with profit and loss, but rather the control and proper procedures for revenues and expenditures, among other things. I get it that the city of Washington is thinking “outside the box” for additional sources of revenue, probably to meet increased levels of expenditures, planned capital improvements, etc. But allowing this quarry and mining project to go forward shouldn’t be one of them. I would much rather vote for a small increase in property, sales or gas taxes, than let the City Council unilaterally approve this quarry and mining project. I like the quality of life here in Washington, and this quarry and mining project will do absolutely nothing

to maintain or increase that quality of life. In fact, it will accomplish quite the opposite.

Please follow the unanimous recommendation of the Planning Committee and reject any further consideration of this quarry and mining project. Has there been any environmental impact reports done for this project? If not, why not? Whatever revenues it may bring to the city of Washington is not worth the negative impacts on our quality of life, from increased air and noise pollution, increased heavy truck traffic, decreased property values, etc. It’s just not worth it.

Those Council members that do vote for this project will open themselves up to further scrutiny, such as whether or not they actually live in these mine and quarry areas (my guess is they don’t, that’s why they voted in favor of it), if any of them will personally benefit from the approval of this project, etc. Why else would someone vote in favor of this?


Robert Brooks