Letter to the Editor: Ronald Wastewater District spends ratepayer dollars on lawsuit

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

To the Editor:

On June 27, 2013 Ronald Wastewater and Art Wadekamper filed a "Complaint for Declaratory Judgment" in King County Superior Court against the City of Shoreline.

On May 22, 2013 the Shoreline City Council held a special meeting regarding the possibility of suing the Ronald Sewer District as they had entered into discussions with the Town of Woodway regarding possible sale of the Point Wells/Snohomish County portion of the Ronald Wastewater infrastructure in apparent violation of the Interlocal Agreement from October 2002. At this meeting (available in audio-only on the City of Shoreline web site) several citizens voiced their dismay at the prospect of a legal action before negotiations had been exhausted. The citizens who voiced their concerns are also ratepayers of the Ronald Wastewater District.

It would seem that the Ronald Wastewater District feels that ratepayer dollars should be spent on this lawsuit rather than any attempt at further discussion.

The Complaint filed runs twelve pages and covers many issues, not only those cited above.

Everyone interested in this issue should take the time to read those twelve pages, familiarize themselves with the Interlocal Agreement in question, and come to their own conclusions on this issue pitting Ronald Wastewater against the City of Shoreline - a battle waged with money from the pockets of Shoreline residents.

The Council will be considering this issue at their next regular meeting on Monday the 22nd in Executive Session. Please make your voices heard.

I've uploaded the document to my Google Drive,

Tracy Tallman


Anonymous,  July 18, 2013 at 7:22 AM  

In the June 28, 2013 issue of the Seattle Times, it was reported that the City paid $538,555 to settle the metadata lawsuit -- that is taxpayers money and doesn't include any of the city's legal expenses. And you are crying about this lawsuit? The City is involved in more court cases than you are aware of, and they lose more often than you are aware -- and it's all taxpayers money.

Anonymous,  July 18, 2013 at 7:27 AM  

Upon second thought - how does Ms. Tallman know what litigation is going to be discussed at the next executive session of the City Council meeting? Has a councilmember or staff member violated the secrecy of the executive session?

Anonymous,  July 18, 2013 at 7:37 AM  

I think the citizens of Shoreline should grant the water district's desire for a vote of the people by voting against the re-election of Arthur L. Wadekamper and Richard P. Matthews. Then this lawsuit will disappear.

Jeff July 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM  

I am not a lawyer, but having read the uploaded document, the suit seems quite reasonable to me. There is a contract/agreement which details the relationship between the city and the sewer district. It is apparent that the city and the district have differing interpretations of some parts of the contract. From what I can tell there has been discussion between district and city with no resolution of the differences. (For their part, the city has discussed/threatened unilateral action and/or lawsuit on their part.) The district's suit seems to be asking for no more than clarification as to what the contract says/means. Without such clarity it is understandably difficult for either the district or the city to manage and plan for the future of the sewer system.

Furthermore, in my perhaps naïve opinion (again, I am not a lawyer, nor am I privy to all the facts of the case) the districts complaints, and their interpretation of the operating agreement seem well reasoned to me.

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