While surfing the net in my quest to locate the photo of the young boy and his dog jumping into Waughop Lake I discovered a hard-hitting issue-focused article written by Mr. Stephen Neufeld. His article focused on the Waughop Lake “Ol Stinky” problem. The title of The Suburban Times article was “A Picture of Waughop Lake is Worth a Thousand Words.” The photo shows Waughop Lake as a green cesspool. I would say this picture is worth 10,000 words.
I missed Mr. Neufeld’s article the first time it was published on March 5, 2017. The points raised by Mr. Neufeld’s writing apply as much today, if not more so, than when the article was published two years ago. In case you missed his article, please click my link above which I am providing in an earnest effort to give Lakewood citizens a second chance to review Mr. Neufeld’s information, ideas, and opinions. Mr. Neufeld poses serious questions and provides some thought-provoking concepts that all citizens and members of our city council should seriously consider.
There may be a compelling reason(s) supporting Lakewood City Council’s choice to not hold Washington State responsible for decades of Washington State’s problematic behavior resulting in serious damage to Waughop Lake. If there is a good reason, no convincing argument has been offered to Lakewood Citizens.
Lakewood City Council focuses on spending money for a possible short term solution but refuses to file a claim or sue the State of Washington for the damage the state is responsible for thereby missing an opportunity for a solid long term solution.
To help prove the point many citizens make, think about this scenario. Let’s pretend I own a pig farm right here in Lakewood where I raise and slaughter pigs. Quite naturally I have slaughter waste and pig toilet products to dispose of. Because Lakewood City Council refuses to hold the State of Washington responsible for knowingly dumping fowl materials for decades into Waughop Lake, I ought to be able to get away with dumping 50 trailer loads of pig waste per year on the front door welcome mat of city hall.
Sure there are laws on the books to discourage me from pulling that kind of short-sighted, ignorant, and thoughtless unlawful stunt. But the way I figure, if Lakewood does not pay attention to the laws on our books that are available to mandate Washington State live up to their responsibility for their Waughop Lake dumping, why should Lakewood, arrest me, jail me, and sue me for dumping pig waste at the entrance of Lakewood City Hall?
I agree the Boyle – Lakewood City Hall scenario described in the above two paragraphs is ridiculous, but not really any more ridiculous than the Washington State – City of Lakewood / Waughop Lake scenario. My script is a joke. The Washington State – Lakewood / Waughop Lake scenario is no joke.
It is mysterious and perhaps even suspicious that we never hear much, if any, conversation, response, or reply from Lakewood City Council defending their no-action plan related to requiring the State of Washington to fix Waughop Lake.
Recent national political developments suggest it is possible a politician could urge us to make Mexico pay for the Waughop Lake cleanup. If the suggestion is made and Lakewood City Council refuses to take action or even debate the Mexico solution, I do not expect much pushback from the citizens of Lakewood. Washington State is different. Why are we not exploring a claim or lawsuit directed towards a guilty party directly related to the cause of the problem?
When the city tells us they are opting for a short term expensive chemical bandaid approach, they are using the all too familiar philosophy that is repeated from the past which is a weak cop-out justification. This is the same philosophy we heard from Lakewood City Council when they created our Constitutional Rights violating Rental Inspection Program. Fundamentally Lakewood City Council believes in doing something even if it is not the right thing to do rather than doing nothing at all.
If Lakewood City Council is to ethically represent the citizens of Lakewood in the best possible lawful manner and in doing so embrace the concept, “Do what is right for Lakewood citizens,” then all options must be thoroughly investigated and considered. Opinions from vendors with an obvious or apparent conflict of interest should not carry much weight.
There is more work to be done before a final decision should be made. Until Lakewood City Council exhausts all research efforts to discover and confirm the truth using independent and qualified professionals, then the State of Washington should not issue the requested chemical permit.
Have any of you picked up on the fact that our Washington State governor, Jay Inslee, who professes to be abundantly concerned about our planet in his quest to become president, and his Washington State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, both face a massive conflict of interest? Governor Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson should be volunteering to have the State of Washington correct the Waughop Lake problem even before Lakewood files a claim. I have not heard a peep from Mr. Inslee or Mr. Ferguson.
It will not surprise me if Lakewood is granted the permit. After all, unethical, self-serving political decision making demands that Washington State do everything they can to avoid being sued or held responsible for the state’s roll in destroying Waughop Lake.
While there is always room for the possibility that any part of Mr. Neufeld’s and my writings on the Waughop Lake issue may be wrong, we are both correct about one thing. Neither of us have heard any convincing arguments for not asking Washington State to live up to their responsibility.
If Washington State authorities do not believe Waughop Lake is a problem, then perhaps we should dredge Waughop Lake and return what we find to the rightful owner. Washington State capital’s Black Lake would be a perfect spot.
City of Lakewood and Washington State, all we ask is that you make a properly informed decision and based on the truth, do what is right.