What with the axe gang in charge and Shelton City Officials eager to accomodate them, visual documentation of what/who is at risk from Simpson’s ever increasing filth raining down on residents became paramount.
Mark Ziegler (360-432-5194; email@example.com) is the City of Shelton Parks and Recreation Director.
Kneeland Park is but a few hundred yards from the largest filthiest anachronism and source of air Pollution in Mason County–Simpson (aka: Olympic Panel, Green Diamond, Solomon, etc.).
Simpson currently has TWO substantially sized incinerators in the heart of downtown Shelton which choke city residents during temperature inversions due to the bowl shape of the town and where Simpsons harbor facilities are located. The environmental impact by Simpson on the immediate surroundings has been historically so thoroughly ignored by officials the harbor has become a hotbed of Dioxin contamination amount the worst in Puget Sound, and (according to the State’s Dept. of Ecology) so irremedial, there are NO plants to clean it up. (Sediments contain up to 902 ppt of Dioxin–possibly the most toxic substance known.) Yet city officials have NO plans to test how badly parcel soils proximate to the harbor have been contaminated. ORCAA (Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency) does not and has NO plans to monitor the Dioxins generated by the existing Simpson smoke stacks. Still unsatisfied with its existing rapacious disregard of the community’s welfare and environmental sustainability, Simpson is demanding still another massive smokestack…a 3rd incredibly dirty source of pollution in downtown Shelton, arguing it should be permitted because it is a ‘separate’ point of pollution owned by Simpson as another spin off/shell company under yet another alias.
When Mark Ziegler was asked about these issues and what he or the City of Shelton was doing to protect citizen interests in its park(s) from scofflaws and corporate induced environmental destruction, he provided the following facts to the associated question:
Q: There are a number of rules posted on signs at the park entrance(s). What do you or your department do to enforce them and how vigorously?
A: We don’t provide any enforcement mechanism. That’s a function of our police department.
Q: Does that include dogs, which aren’t allowed in the park?
Q: Do you or other city officials attempt to protect citizens’ stake/interest in their parks against encroachments by commercial interests or proposed zoning changes or permit applications?
A: Excuse me?
Q: Is there a mechanism wherein you give input in the decision making process conducted by city officials expressing your view of what impact such permit applications, zoning changes, or other policy matters will have on the parks belonging to city residents?
A: No…or if there is such a mechanism, I don’t know about it. It’s never come up.
A: It was never felt there was a need.
Q: OK–I’m going to be quoting you…tell me if my understanding is correct. So you’re saying no input has been sought or offered with an eye to protect residents’ stake in their park(s)?…that you know/knew of no mechanism to do so and no need was felt to have one? Is that accurate?
A: Yes, that’s about right.
The heaviest users of Kneeland Park being downtown residents, primarily the poor, ethnic minorities, the homeless, and their children should not be surprised by such short shrift. Mayor Tarrant is a member of the EDC (Economic Development Council) board of directors and shepherds city tax money into EDC’s coffers virtually without any oversight. City officials, once in office, have chosen to shine the boots of their corporate masters rather than serve the citizens who elected them. The visible filth that hangs in the air during winter months over Kneeland Park gathers no notice, no comment, and no consideration in their calculations to appease the axe gang.
In fact, an ORCAA monitored air quality station was recently moved from the roof of the Mason General Hospital to the downtown Public Safety Building in order to acquire more accurate readings on the visibly filthier air by Kneeland Park after much effort and lobbying by local residents. But now, rather than enact a 1-year moratorium to factor in that more relevant data, city officials are poised to grant the axe gang’s permit petition for yet a 3rd downtown filth generating incinerator with an ill conceived waiver of further considerations/inquiry via a MDNS (mitigated determination of Non-Significance: i.e. It doesn’t matter!). The historical record of malfeasance and misfeasance surrounding the existing egregious Dioxin contamination of the area receives no reflection.
Despite residents’ desperate need for a champion of the people, Dawn Pannell runs unopposed for the office of Mayor in the City of Shelton. If nobody with scruples and an appetite for preserving the health of the community will throw their hat into the ring, what are the prospects for the poor and disenfranchised downtown residents? When asked, Commissioner Pannell refused to reveal/admit her pro-Simpson & incinerator bias.