Introductory statements from candidates for one of two seats on the Ronald Wastewater District Board

Thursday, June 13, 2013

By Evan Smith

Voters in Shoreline and a few in the far southwest corner of Snohomish County will elect two commissioners of the Ronald Wastewater District in the 2013 election.

Three candidates are running for a full six-year term that begins in January.

Three others are running for what ballots call a “short and full term” that begins in December. The “short” term is the last month of the term that incumbent Richard Matthews holds by appointment.  The “full” term is for six years starting in January. The position is one of two created when the Board expanded from three to five commissioners last year.

Both the full six-year-term position and the short-and-full-term position will appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot, with the top two vote getters for each position advancing to the Nov. 5 general-election ballot.

Running on this year's ballot for the short and full term for the new position are Craig Degginger, Matthews and George Webster.

A second new position will appear on the 2015 District ballot.

Here are introductory statements from the three candidates for the short and full term in this year’s primary. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Craig Degginger

Craig Degginger is seeking this position because he cares deeply about Shoreline’s future. In his role as Shoreline School District’s Public Information Officer, Craig worked tirelessly to achieve the community’s goal of replacing both high schools, providing our children with the buildings they deserve.

Last year, Shoreline citizens voted overwhelmingly for acquisition of the city’s portion of Seattle Public Utilities’ water system. The majority of Ronald Wastewater’s board opposed this acquisition. As the City prepares to implement the assumption of the Ronald Wastewater District by 2017, it’s time to elect new leadership that will work as partners with the City.

Richard Matthews

I’ve served as Ronald Wastewater Commissioner since August 2012. My legal background emphasizing real-estate and business transactions has helped the District in decisions faced this year. My record of commitment to the public (Little League; Rotary; The SCC Foundation; City task forces and commissions) demonstrates that I have the experience and skills to serve to protect ratepayers and the sanitary system.

I have solid working relationships with all segments of our community — elected officials; school district and college; utilities and businesses.

I will continue as Commissioner to collaborate with all groups and ratepayers to meet challenges the District faces.

George R. Webster

George and his wife have lived in Shoreline 34 years. Two children, Robert and Robin, graduated from Shoreline High School.

A licensed Professional Environmental Engineer with 46 years experience included: two-years as Technical Representative to the OECD in Paris, France, while working ten-years as a GS-15 Senior Environmental Engineer with the EPA in Washington, D.C. Honors included:  Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers with Water and Wastewater expertise.

George’s former company, WEBSTERS' Inc., specialized in asbestos inspections and abatement management for WSU, UW, and ten local school districts. George now works as a consultant to local environmental firms.

Evan Smith can be reached at


Anonymous,  June 13, 2013 at 7:22 AM  

It is nice to see we have a candidate running for the position of Ronald Wastewater District commissioner that will work as partners with the City.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM  

There are many valid reasons the Ronald Wastewater board opposed the Shoreline City Council takeover of the water system. Not the least of which is that nobody knows for sure what it will actually cost Shoreline ratepayers in construction. For decades now, Ronald Wastewater has been run efficiently and responsibly for Shoreline citizens by a board that is INDEPENDENT from the City Council. I urge voters to keep it independent by continuing to elect independent representatives.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM  

Simple question: do you think the City will do a better job of providing cost-effective sewer service than Ronald has? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Especially if the City's fix means they have a new source of money with utility taxes.

Evan Smith,  June 14, 2013 at 1:13 AM  

NOTE: Another positio -- a full 6-year term -- also has three candidates on the primary ballot. None of the three has responded to my requests for a statement.

Anonymous,  June 14, 2013 at 5:10 AM  

Isn't Craig Degginger the one who assured the public that the bond for the new high schools would not increase property taxes over those already paid yet they did once the bonds had been sold?

Anonymous,  June 16, 2013 at 1:31 PM  

The city wishes to replace Ronald Wastewater for additional revenues. They wish to shift the costs of construction and improvements to the average citizen to underwrite a major remodel of the city rather than requiring developers to pay their fair share. Every citizen of this area owns the Ronald Wastewater District. Don't let the city steal it from us!

Anonymous,  June 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM  

I always get a kick out of statements that are written in “third person,” as the first and third are. I prefer those who speak in first person, as Commissioner Matthews has done (“I’ve served…,” “I have…,” “I will…”).

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