A group of Ilwaco citizens have hired a law firm (Foster and Pepper) in Seattle to represent us in answer to the threat of MSW's proposal to collect latecomers fees or free water meter hookups from Ilwaco.
The letter of opinion that was sent to the city of Ilwaco explains the many reasons why the city is not responsible for any latecomer payments to MSW. This threat was started by a meeting in the early spring by MSW's developers, Rich Marshall and Brian Wirkkala, city of Ilwaco representatives, councilmen Fred Marshall and Mike Cassinelli and Mayor Doug Hubbard. The propose of the meeting to convince Mike Cassinelli to agree to have the city pay latecomer fees for the connection to the new water tank above Sahalee subdivision. Cassinelli said no and asked why Ilwaco should pay for something that the city already owns and is not bound by contract to pay.
Fred Marshall and Doug Hubbard have been very adamant about paying MSW the fees. They have been quoted in the Observer stating their position on the subject. Fred Marshall and Doug Hubbard evidently cannot read or understand the agreement that former mayor Ed Leonard signed between the city and MSW. It is interesting that Ed Leonard sent a letter to Foster and Pepper that confirm their opinion.
Donna Rew (Sahalee resident) stood up in a city council meeting and stated that she had read the agreement and felt that the city should pay the latecomer fees. Don Parsons, planning commission chairman, has said that he didn't know what was going on. You would think that a person in city politics and lived in Sahalee would be interested in "what's going on." Our group of members who paid the attorney fees (two live in Sahalee) have saved the 82 lot owners $4,167 each in latecomer fees. This is based on the ERUs in the MSW agreement. And of course we have saved the taxpayers of Ilwaco these fees. With that being said I believe that MSW should pay the costs incurred by the citizens of Ilwaco. Or the city of Ilwaco should pay for the defense of these threats to Ilwaco by MSW. The city attorney declined to be part of any disputes in the MSW agreement. If all this fails, I am sure that all of us would accept contributions (for attorney fees) from the citizens of Ilwaco.
This whole thing may come up during the next elections. But beware. Fred Marshall will take credit for the fire station and the community center, which many other citizens have worked very hard on. Fred has also made motions to raise our taxes. The council has disagreed with Fred on many of his proposals, Fred's brother's interests (MSW) and general policies of the regular meetings.
The policies of the mayor and Fred Marshall have spread like cancer over city hall. Even the staff in the office are affected by the propaganda. I had asked who put this whole matter on the city council agenda and the staff said they didn't know. What a cop out. All I expected was honesty. Ron Willis has dropped off the city council because of MSW, but is still working hard for the citizens of Ilwaco.