Issue statements from candidates for a full term on the Ronald Wastewater Board

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gretchen Atkinson and Ginny Scantlebury are running for a full six-year term on the Ronald Wastewater District Board in the Nov. 5 general election.

The two finished ahead of incumbent Arthur Wadekamper in the Aug. 6 primary election.

The position is one of two Ronald Wastewater Board positions on the November ballot. The other is for one of the new positions created in 2012.

Here are statements on campaign issues from the two candidates for the full term:

Gretchen Atkinson

Last year, I was appalled at numerous Ronald decisions, which were costly to ratepayers. The current board majority is working in a vacuum, leading the organization down the wrong path.

Campaign Issues:

•  Increasing their board to five commissioners, after decades at three. Furthermore, appointing the individual just voted out.

•  As a commissioner, I will advocate for prudent spending of our limited revenues. Additional costs for five commissioners, $80,000 feasibility study for a Super Utility District, and hiking the Public Relations budget to $100,000 is reckless spending.

•  As a candidate, my Public Documents Requests have been plagued by “run-around.” The organization has operated for decades without public scrutiny. I will require Transparency.

•  State Law protects the $6 million Reserve Funds exclusively for wastewater investments.
Finally, I believe the 2002 Interlocal Agreement, authored and signed by the City and Ronald is an enforceable, binding contract. Instead, Ronald is spending your money suing the City. The City is required to defend itself in court; so now, all of us are paying for an unnecessary lawsuit. Finally, if it is the people’s will to take the assumption to a vote, I will support that.

Ginny Scantlebury

I believe that the two most important issues pertaining to Ronald Wastewater District are:

•  To determine whether the ratepayers have the right to vote on whether they want Shoreline or Ronald Wastewater District to run the sewer system.

•  To determine whether the District can inform the Ronald ratepayers and engage the public about their choices in utility management.  The City is using the Interlocal Agreement, signed in 2002, to try to silence the District.

It is important that the Shoreline ratepayers understand that the District has been doing a great job taking care of our sewer needs since 1951. The District is low cost (some of the lowest rates in the state); they have relatively low debt (approximately $2 million) and the District has over $6 million in cash reserves available for future maintenance and improvements.

I believe that Ronald Wastewater is not broken; therefore, there’s no need to fix it. The system we have should continue until the Shoreline ratepayers are given full disclosure by the City of all the potential costs (including diversion of the current and future District’s reserves, potential increased taxes and higher rates) and a discussion of potential benefits.


Anonymous,  September 29, 2013 at 9:00 PM  

Why did Gretchen Atkinson get an introductory statement and Ginny Scantlebury did not?

All the other candidates have been able to do so.

DKH September 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM  

They are both in the same article. Candidates are listed alphabetically.

Anonymous,  September 29, 2013 at 9:21 PM  

I think it is interesting that Ginny Scantlebury does not mention that she is the spokeswoman for the Shoreline Caucus, Shoreline's Tea Party Organization.

Anonymous,  September 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM  

Ronald Wastewater, as an independent utility, has proven to be an excellent steward of public resources and the public trust for more than six decades. The Shoreline City Council's only reason for making a grab for Ronald Wastewater is that they have dollar signs in their eyes. I appreciate Scantlebury's common sense statement and that she, unlike her opponent, does not appear to be a rubber stamp for the Shoreline City Council

Anonymous,  September 30, 2013 at 7:50 AM  

Then why were the issue statements for Richard Matthews and George Webster run on different but consecutive days last week?

Anonymous,  September 30, 2013 at 8:23 AM  

Ronald Wastewater has doubled their rates in the past ten years. That's ridiculous. We're going through tough economic times and they keep driving up costs. Look at your old bills. I used to pay $53, and now its over $100. Why can't they control their costs?

Anonymous,  September 30, 2013 at 9:03 AM  

@8:23 am - Ronald Wastewater has NOT doubled their rates in the past ten years, that is King County Brightwater. Learn how to read your bill, the Ronald Wastewater portion is around $14, the rest is from King County and the rate increases are due to that albatross called Brightwater.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2013 at 12:19 PM  

This is a non-partisan position @9:21 pm, and Ginny has bi-partisan endorsements, so your point is? Some people have more open minds and are more informed...

Anonymous,  September 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM  

Scantlebury sounds like a breath of fresh air. Maybe she can bring an end to this tiresome squabble.

Unknown October 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM  

As candidate Atkinson pointed out, the reaction by the remaining Ronald commissioners when one of their good old boys was voted out was to create another two positions and give him his job back. Any reasonable person would see this is abject graft, but apparently there are a few people out there (including candidate Scantlebury) who wish to bury their heads in the sand or otherwise just refuse to consider the awful truth, which is that Ronald is an insular organization that will do or say anything to maintain the status quo. Shame on them, and shame on those who assist them in perpetuating this fraud.

I'm hopeful after the results of the primary, let's keep our fingers crossed that the voters will see through the Ronald shenanigans and get the candidates who want to work with the city in there before the Ronald commissioners and staff squander all their reserves away on legal bills and paying themselves for 100% of their accrued sick leave as a parting golden handshake.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM  

The city council is an insular organization that voted itself a raise on Monday that will do anything or say anything to maintain the status quo. The city council just issued $3.6 million in debt, raided the surface water utility enterprise fund for unrelated expenses (which the city promised the voters they would never do last year in the SPU election - raid the utility fund), the city has spent 45% of its reserve fund in four years even though they got a property tax levy lift AND they think they can manage Ronald Wastewater. In case anyone was paying attention, the city was talking about issuing almost $5 million in debt and condemning another business in order to add onto City Hall, the city spends and spends with end in sight.

Anonymous,  October 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM  

@12:16 PM Vitriol won't help your candidate get elected.

Anonymous,  October 6, 2013 at 9:09 PM  

‎Between Scylla and Charybdis; Between a Rock & a Hard Place; Between Ginny Scantlebury (Tea Party) and Gretchen Atkinson (City takes over the Utility). Neither one of the above appeals to me, but those are our choices, and one of them will win the position. I cannot in good conscience vote for a Tea Party supporter for any position at all - I've seen how intransigent and ideology-driven they are, no matter the consequences and to the detriment of democracy - they are responsible for the current destructive shutdown of our federal government. Their kind of thinking is not MY cup of tea. Reluctantly, then, I must vote for Gretchen Atkinson, who at least shows some potential flexibility on the question of the city take-over of the utility. I see no advantage at all for this takeover until we have written rules that will prevent the city from taxing the utility without a vote by the citizens if it is in the city control. As things stand now, no council can determine what a future council will do about taxing a utility under its control.

Anonymous,  October 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM  

@9:09 Good enough for Chase and Ryu is good enough for me. Or are they Tea Party, too? And here I thought McCarthyism was dead.

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