The Shoreline Water District Board met Monday night, and after much discussion, decided by a 3-0 vote to oppose the city of Shoreline's Proposition 1, which asks voters to support the city's attempt to buy and run Seattle Public Utilities water system west of I-5.
Water District President Ron Ricker, vice president Larry Schoonmaker and secretary Charlotte Haines voted to oppose in part because approval of Proposition 1 might "facilitate a future assumption of the district after the expiration of the city-district franchise agreement in 2027," according Shoreline Water District Resolution 2012.09.62 (see attached PDF).
Other reasons given for opposition in the resolution include the following:
•The Board's belief that the ambiguity in the language or the city's Ordinance 644 and Proposition 1 could allow the city to argue that it can "assume the district without an additional vote by the citizens of the city and with no vote by the citizens of Lake Forest Park.
•The voters approval of Proposition 1 and the city's acquistion of the SPU water system makes it unlikely the SPU water sytem would be included in a merged and combined independent utility district in North King County.
•The city is currently using staff and funds from its General Fund to investigate its purchase of the SPU system. Thus, all citizens of the city, including those residing within the district and not served by SPU, have been paying for the city's evaluation. Further, if Proposition 1 passes, staff and funds from the General Fun(d)(sic) will continue to be used for many years until the possible purchase is successfully concluded.
What the Shoreline Water District Board believes, as stated in its resolution is "a locally-controlled, independent special purpose district is the best method of providing cost-effective and efficient utility services to the community. The Board of Commissioners urges the voters of the city to consider this as an alternative for owning, managing and operating the SPU system in the future."
For the city's take on the acquistion go the SPU section of its Web site.