To Rural landowners, government types, interested parties and the news media:

This is about King County, but if you don't live in King County, don't think it can't happen to you.  "Big" government has "big" plans for you, your land and your rivers and lakes too and they all are driven down hill to local governments by your U. S. Congress (ESA) and the Washington state un-representatives you elect each year (GMA), that continuously find creative ways to spend your tax money.  Counties and cities just follow the same plan while you are sleeping.  And don't forget.  So goes King County, so goes the state of Washington.
Here we go again folks.  A massive spending project by government (King County) with little oversight from the people.  Here are the headlines from the King County Journal this morning:
"Preserving rivers, protecting people"
County's flood-management plan update envisions moving, removing some levees
2006-03-06 by Dean A. Radford Journal Reporter
It sounds good, doesn't it?  Government "working" for the people.  Makes you all kind of warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?  But are they really working for the people, or is it just about the money, or is it really about "fish"?  The county plans to spend $145,000,000 (that's "million" folks) of your tax money over the next 10 years in "river work".   "River work", in the vernacular of the government experts, is protecting fish, not people and they will do or say anything to make sure they get the money to do their "River (fish) Work".  It's all about saving salmon and these "salmon people" sit in back rooms with so called government experts and high-paid environmentally "biased" scientists and they constantly "hatch" this "stuff".  They are always at work on your tax dollars, finding more and more ways to spend your money on dubious projects that cost way too much money.
So let's ask some basic questions. 
1.    What are the real reasons for spending $145,000,000 on "River Work"?
2.    Where is the money going to come from?  You the tax payer!!!!!
3.    What happened to the $220,000,000 that King County has collected under the Surface Water Management Fee that was instituted on property owners 20 years ago for flood control?
4.    Who benefits from this grandiose scheme?  Certainly not the rural landowner.
5.    Why would they be setting up a flood control district to levy taxes when they are already collecting taxes (surface water management fee) for flood control.
6.    What new bureaucracy will have to be created and how many people will it employ for this "River Work"?
7.    Who is going to take the "heat" for all this "river work"?  The rural property owner, that's who!  Many people will be displaced from their homes in a buyout at so-called "Fair Market Value".  "Fair Market Value", now that sounds fair doesn't it?  Or does it?  Whose "Fair Market Value"?  Yours or theirs?  The county says it won't use eminent domain to displace these people, but will it live up to that promise?  I doubt it.  Remember the Kenneth Millers in Tacoma where the State Supreme Court upheld Sound Transits right of unconstitutional eminent domain to take property they probably won't need and lied to get it and then will sell later for a profit.
Take a look at the list of projects in the article.  Here is just a single line item from their list of projects:
* $2,875,000, restore riverbanks to fix damage done by past efforts to manage the river's channel.
"To fix damage done by past efforts."  Really!  So what makes us believe that the money they will spend now will be any better than the failed money they spent years ago, that they now have to fix with new money?
I say, beware government coming to you for huge amounts of money to fund their massive projects with hidden agendas and unclear government purposes.  Think 30% to 40%, waste, fraud, abuse and corruption, especially from King County.
There will be public hearings on this government full-and-increasing-employment "scheme" shortly.  Perhaps one or two of you will attend the hearings and let the rest of us know what the Hell is going on.    I wonder? 
You know what they say about a "fool" and his "money".
Ron Ewart
Fall City, WA
425 222-9482