Letter to the Editor: Ronald Wastewater mailers are not good stewardship

Monday, November 26, 2012

To the Editor:

I just received a glossy, color mailing from Ronald Wastewater. They announced they are intending to send these out monthly, and want feedback. I have sent them an email, and wish to share my views here as well.

I do not see the need for this kind of expense. A plain-paper missive, in black and white and sent with our bills, should be sufficient.

To add this expense on top of adding 2 new Commissioners positions seems to be NOT an example of good stewardship.

Sheila Long


Anonymous,  November 27, 2012 at 6:57 AM  

I totally agree with this. I was so frustrated with their feeble attempt and offensive message on one side of it that I immediately tossed it! Shame on the commission to not be able to be good stewards and obviously poor sports.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM  

I also agree. I fear that their policy is here to stay. To end this, as elections come, we need to vote out the old gard of commisoners and elect new commisoners who will help integrate the Ronald Wastewater Dristrict with the City of Shoreline.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM  

I guess you want the 8 page color mailer you get monthly from the city then, or the four page color mailing from the school district...

You want more information in government and then complain. Ronald Wastewater has no almost no debt and hasn't raised rates in years, and you complain.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM  

But what could they possibly have to say every month that they weren't able to fit in an "every other month with the bill" newsletter?

The last 2 flyers already repeated an article. Is there really that much info about a little sewer district that really needs to get out there?

I'm kinda doubtin' it.

Tom Jamieson,  November 27, 2012 at 1:43 PM  

The City of Shoreline spent $5,552.74 to print and mail 21,984 copies of a 4-page, color information mailer on the single subject of Proposition 1, just three weeks before the November election. Total calendar time of the effort was about 1 month, and involved the time and attention of the City Manager, the Assistant City Manager, a Management Analyst, and the City Attorney. (Source: City of Shoreline Public Records Request PD-12-152)

The City, Ronald Wastewater District, and Shoreline Water District are engaged in a local government cold war, as the City executes its long range plans to end multi-jurisdictional rule of the coterminous area known as Shoreline . What we are witnessing here is simply an arms race. Whether this gov-grab will spread to Shoreline School District and Shoreline Fire Department is anyone's guess. Clearly, the City's own logic would not justify their continued autonomy. Lawsuits are inevitable. Mutual Assured Destruction. Neighbor against neighbor.

Taxes, Takeovers, Troubles.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM  

Wow Tom - $5,552.74 for a 4 page color mailer. That would total $66,632.88 if they did it every month for a year. Yet, Ronald has budgeted $111,500 for their 2 page color mailer.

Good stewardship at Ronald? Nope, sounds like they don't have a grasp on it.

Joan Giuffre,  November 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM  

I too agree and would like to opt out of this expense added to my bill. This excessive paper waste is ridiculous with the new technology called the Internet! If people want this, let them send their email address to the Utility and opt in for all this junk mail.

Thomas Newton,  November 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM  

It looks like there are a lot of "Anonymous" City of Shoreline staff posting here. I wonder if they get paid overtime to bash Ronald Sewer.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM  

The Shoreline Fire Department added 2 new commissioners last year, why aren't you complaining about it? Furthermore, the Shoreline Fire Department started billing for all aid calls, why aren't you complaining?

Finally, I seem to recall, Ms. Long, that you promoted the SPU vote because you wanted local control - did you know that Shoreline Fire is engaged in talks to join a regional fire service, no local control there. Shoreline Fire is a special purpose district, they never send out any newsletters, black & white or color, to let us know about any of the above.

Your complaints are petty.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2012 at 3:04 PM  

Good stewardship is a special purpose district that has adequate reserves to handle a fiscal emergency (as Sis Polin has so kindly documented for members of the public), no debt, and low rates - rates that are amongst the lowest in the region. Most of your bill is from King County to pay for that albatross called Brightwater.

So what are people complaining about here? They want to micro-manage Ronald Wastewater but don't seem to care that property taxes for the school district are the highest in King County and rank in the top 25 for the state. They don't seem to care that the city just took on $3 million more in debt last night at the city council meeting without any immediate ability to pay for it other than using surface water utility fees. They don't seem to care that the city borrowed $18 million for city hall and has to go to the general fund because the city staff projected real estate excise taxes failed to materialize.

People don't seem to notice that the city staff has nearly completed plans to annex 145th street for an additional expense of $160,000 per year but if we want new sidewalks we have to create a local improvement district in our neighborhood to pay for it ourselves - isn't that why we pay $20 car tab fees? The car tab fees were for more sidewalks and to maintain our existing roads, not to annex 145th, but folk are sitting here complaining about a newsletter, that it is printed in color, that they don't care about the information (but then will complain about lack of transparency), that the information should be on the website (but not everyone has high-speed internet or the expense of scanning all the documents), and on and on.

It is gratifying to see how these people who never write any public comments to the city council or planning commission, attend planning commission or city council meetings, read any staff reports, much less do the same for the school district, Ronald Wastewater, Shoreline Fire, or Shoreline Water (which are all special purpose districts), are such experts in transparency, public relations, and communications (sarcasm intended).

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