Last Monday I contacted our Island County commissioners to voice my concerns regarding the status of the Wonn Road legal situation. I had heard unsettling rumors that they have been secretly negotiating a “settlement” with the landowner in the court case concerning the only public beach access in Greenbank. The public beach near the Greenbank Farm has been blocked by a wealthy beach-front landowner and the public has been barred from using the historic access. I sought the commissioners’ assurance that they intend to faithfully represent their constituents in protecting the public interest. Though the details may be complex, the situation is a simple one — are we to relinquish ownership of public land to a wealthy landowner’s whim? I hope your readers agree that the answer should be a resounding “No!”
Unfortunately I have heard no response from the commissioners.
Our representatives should not be party to any settlement which surrenders or limits public ownership or use of Wonn Road (or any public land). There is much more at stake here than one lonely public road-end beach access. This is a regionally significant court case which will have profound effects throughout greater Puget Sound. As a landowner I strongly support private property rights, but as a citizen I also support public property rights.
The board’s silence causes me to doubt their commitment to faithfully serve the public in this matter. I believe your readers should know that the commissioners may be acting irresponsibly and against the best interests of the public. Unless we want to allow a very dangerous precedent, which will make it much easier for other wealthy beach-front landowners to usurp our public beachs, it is time to let your county commissioners know that you are concerned and expect them to represent the public’s interests and protect the public’s welfare.
I want my representatives to know that “giving up and giving in” is not an acceptable resolution of this matter; that would more aptly be termed “knuckling under” to duress. If you agree, let your commissioners hear from you. For more information, contact Island Beach Access or visit their website at http://www.islandbeachaccess.org/.