Submitted by Stephen Neufeld
I read the other day in The Suburban Times, that on March 6, the Lakewood City Council will “decide” what to do about Waughop Lake… So, let me get this straight: 1) Washington State owns, since 1871, Western State Hospital and Fort Steilacoom Park, where Waughop Lake is located; 2) I have been around here for most of forty years and the lake has had this problem as long as I can remember; and, 3) Washington State has done very little to actually solve their problem for all these years and now expects Lakewood to solve it for them?
How about this as a remedy: Lakewood could sue the State of Washington for negligence in allowing a public health hazard to continue for DECADES on its publicly-accessible land (which citizens are encouraged to walk around for their health) and enforce the actual laws which the state would force down OUR throats if we were in such violation of health codes and environmental regulations!
You know it’s true. If it were Lakewood, Steilacoom, other towns or any of millions of other citizens, we would be fined and sued and fined again by Washington State!
As a matter of fact, I remember last January, 2016 that Washington sued the tiny town of Steilacoom (that’s us–your friends, families and neighbors) because Washington didn’t like the legally-binding agreement the state made with the town to process its poop! Really? Steilacoom has taken care of Western State’s poop since 1964, by legal agreement. Then, the state eventually came back to sue one of the smallest towns in the state? The state had agreed to the contract! Of course, it’s okay for the attorney general of Washington to throw around its weight, legal staff and attorneys and our tax dollars to sue a tiny town because now they don’t like the agreement that they made, right?
Seriously, think about this situation. It really is beyond the pale of propriety and decency for Washington State to have avoided their legal responsibility for so long to properly clean up Waughop Lake. Maybe if we could get the attention of our governor and attorney general, they would jump at the chance to help. Unfortunately, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are really busy with important things like trying to sell everyone marijuana (a.k.a. “psychoactive drugs”) from the Evergreen State! Instead of public servants, we have public drug dealers!
Dear Washington State: Could you take a break from dealing drugs and finally clean up Waughop Lake properly?