Letters to the Editor

Many have asked county to find funds for septic | Letter to the Editor

I was disappointed with The Beachcomber’s statement that only in the last few months have a “handful” of Islanders begun to take issue with the county’s failure to secure funding to help landowners who can’t afford to repair failing systems or install new ones.

My husband Bill Tobin was chair of the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council’s septic solutions committee in 2009 and 2010. He took over from Steve Graham. Steve and his committee had been concerned for years about the county’s failure to help homeowners.

I worked with Bill on the committee, and one of the first things I did was to call the other counties’ health departments and the state Board of Health, the state Department of Ecology and the state Department of Natural Resources. I learned that the MRA programs in the other counties were going smoothly. My most informative conversation was with the director of the program in Island County. She explained their program for providing financing that had been so successful that they had nearly completed their MRA recovery.

I also had a very interesting conversation with the state Board of Health. He said the state was very concerned about King County’s lack of progress. He asked if I had any suggestions. I repeated what we had been telling the county all along, that we need publicly funded, low-interest loans, the same program that had been so successful in the other counties.

Carl Sells and the people he is working with are continuing Islanders’ efforts that have been going on for years. Because we are unincorporated, the Vashon community cannot access funds on its own, and we depend entirely on the county to act with good faith toward its citizens, like the other counties are doing. Our elected county representatives have long remained silent on this issue. Why?


— Susan Tobin



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