South Whidbey Record


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Tax will prevent more washouts

November 4, 2012 · Updated 1:33 PM

To the editor:

There have been lots of complaints about government that’s “too big” lately. Well, lets consider one actual result of “too small” government.

Glendale Road on South Whidbey had a culvert underneath it. Glendale Creek ran through the culvert, an old, old old culvert. During the county’s over 50 years of all Republican rule there was never a program to systematically inspect culverts. The inevitable finally happened. The culvert failed and blocked the creek. The creek wiped out the road, flash flooding down Glendale canyon and causing a lot of damage. Millions of dollars of damage. Fortunately, Glendale had been evacuated and no one was hurt. That end of Glendale Road is now closed; its a dead end. The county does not have the over $1 million that it would cost to bridge the creek.

One of the Clean Water Utility programs is culvert inspections. Every road culvert in Island County will now be regularly inspected. So there will be no more million dollar road washouts when culverts fail. Is that “too big” government? Jeff Lauderdale thinks so. If elected, he will repeal the Clean Water Utility. Jill Johnson thinks the Clean Water Utility is “too expensive.” I guess million dollar road washouts are cheap. It looks like the current thinking by those running for office as Republicans is that government big enough to maintain the roads and other transportation infrastructure is “too big.” I suppose that this is an unbridgeable philosophical gap. But I know what I am going to do about it. And it doesn’t include voting for people who think its cheaper to let roads wash away.

Steve Erickson


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