Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Water proposals

Water availability and affordability in our community are some of the most important issues faced in Ferndale at the moment. Addressing these issues will require a thoughtful, collaborative approach that prioritizes the needs of our current residents. I have been asked several times to respond to my opponent's recent water proposals. In short, I believe his proposals highlight the differences in our priorities.

While I do not know my opponent in this race personally, Mr. Llanos seems like a friendly and intelligent man. However, he has made it clear through the information he has put forward through his campaign that his priorities lie with developers over the wellbeing of the greater community.

My opponent's proposals on water conservation speak quite plainly to this. The proposals he has put forward are extremely costly and largely unachievable in our community that is already feeling the financial strain of a long poorly-managed, deteriorating infrastructure. His proposals primarily focus on implementing more financial incentives for builders and developers.  The majority of his water proposals are expensive band-aids that do not work to broaden the conversation that must be had between the City of Ferndale, the other cities in Whatcom County, and ultimately, with the County as a whole about how we will all manage this critical resource together. 

It is time for all the municipalities in Whatcom County to begin working cooperatively to find ways to manage our water supply together. It makes no sense to have one city struggling to ensure all its residents are able to access clean potable water, while the next city over has more than they know what to do with. We need a County-wide effort to address current and future issues with our water supply. 

In the meantime, we need to focus efforts on achievable water conservation goals. This means not only making water-efficient fixtures and appliances available and affordable for current residents, but also encouraging and promoting the use of rain barrels and native plant species for residential lawns and gardens. These small measures will have a measurable effect in reducing strain on Ferndale's water, sewer, and stormwater systems, at the same time that they lower residents' water use bills. 

As a legal professional, I take issues of ethics seriously and remain unconvinced that my opponent is presently in a position to adequately represent our community. While he does have experience as a licensed engineer, if elected to the Council in Ferndale, his ongoing business as a developer would present repeated conflicts of interest that would necessitate his recusal on many of the important decisions placed in front of Council.

Throughout the remainder of this campaign, and beyond, I will continue to work for the betterment of my community through my ongoing volunteer service in Ferndale. I hope to have the privilege of serving on our City Council and working together with community members, City staff, and elected officials at local, county, and state levels to achieve great outcomes for our community!

Meet Maralise