Letter to the Editor: Intent of previous land agreement should be honored
March 22, 2011 · 12:31 PM
Thank you for publishing the article about our property/easement controversy with Vashon Island School District and their lessee, Vashon Parks District. (“A simmering land dispute sets family and the park district in opposition.”)
It has been my pleasure to have lived long enough to be able to say, “I knew some of the Steen Family.” The Steens were civic-minded, hard-working, help-and-trust-your-neighbors, honest-dealing people, the type who provided property (except 20 by 660 feet on the south side of parcel) so the community could build an accredited school and sold us our property and private road in 1943.
I also knew the ilk of my husband, Leon Rosser, and school directors of 1930s, 1940s and 1950s — men of integrity who had the good of the community at the center of their deliberations. A handshake, verbal promise and agreement was as binding to them as a document, meant to be fulfilled and legally binding.
It occurs to me that the current non-monetary exchange agreement between VISD and VPD in some aspects is little different from our easement arrangement with VISD in 1947 — by word and integrity taken as written documentation, as has been upheld and in use between the school district and the Rossers for 64 years.
Yes, there is a difference in the way many things were done in that era, but we still need to honor the intent and honesty of that time. Since longevity does count in many things, I believe we DO still “have a leg to stand on,” lest we not eradicate the past to build our future.
— Margaret Rosser