June 18 at 9:43pm Sj Robson
Jon Mutchler wrote: “And I will stand up to those who don’t have our city’s best interests at heart.”
So far, City Council member Mutchler has not stood up to SSA Marine/PIT and its proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal. Most people would argue that SSA Marine/PIT does not have the “city’s best interests at heart,” in proposing a 48 million ton coal export terminal that among other adverse impacts, would use a capacity of up to 5.33 million gallons of Nooksack River water per year. SSA Marine/PIT has its own best interests at heart, not the city of Ferndale. I’d like to see Mr. Mutchler stand up to that proposal.
Mr. Mutchler also wrote: “I will continue to develop a positive relationship with one of the biggest potential developers coming to Ferndale: our neighbor, the Lummi Nation.”
“The Ferndale mayor works with politicians at city hall, in Bellingham and other neighboring cities, with the Lummi Nation, Whatcom County and Olympia. . .Someone needs to stand up and speak for you. I have the experience to do it.”
In April 2011, as a City Council member, Mr. Mutchler voted yes to approve the Ferndale City Council’s resolution in support of SSA Marine and its GPT project.
Since that time, the Lummi Nation has officially stated that SSA Marine/PIT’s proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal, if built, would, inter alia, adversely impact the Lummi Nation’s treaty rights. In January, Lummi Nation requested that the Army Corps immediately deny the permit application for GPT.
So far, Mr. Mutchler is not standing up with the Lummi Nation who he refers to as “our neighbor,” in its opposition to GPT and its efforts to protect its nation’s treaty rights.
I remember a discussion in the online Bellingham Herald comments section (from I believe in 2013) that Mr. Mutchler and I had on the subject of GPT, his thoughts about property rights relating to GPT and the property SSA Marine wants to develop for its project at Cherry Point. Below I have copied and pasted from that discussion:
My comment to Mr. Mutchler: “However, with all due respect, you have avoided my one question relating to your stated support of property rights. I would really appreciate you answering this question as the Lummi Nation is a huge part of the Ferndale community of which you are seeking re-election to the city council. You don’t have to answer it to my satisfaction as you say in your response to me as a reason you are not answering it, you just have to answer it, period. That is all I ask. I am respectfully asking you a legitimate question, so please will you answer it for me?
“Here is my question copied and pasted for you one last time:
“Lastly, as to your comment about you being a supporter of property rights I have a question which comes to mind after recently reading a quote by Jay Taber, a columnist with Intercontinental Cry Magazine. He said:
‘Treaty rights are indeed property rights. While they are collective rather than individual rights, the land, water, fish, and environment that supports the Northwest American Indian culture and society is very much their property. As the supreme law of the land, along with the U.S. Constitution, Indian treaties explicitly delineate tribal properties that can not be damaged. When industrial and other development projects impair treaty-guaranteed tribal property, the federal government is obligated to intervene on their behalf.’
“You say, ‘as a supporter of property rights’ you are ‘uncomfortable that someone wants to change the rules’ and make not possible to develop this piece of private land.’ And you said, ‘this piece of property was designated by Whatcom County for this type of usage. It was zoned this way. . .’ ‘For some time there has been the understanding that this type of use may be proposed there.'”
“What about the treaty-guaranteed property rights of the Lummi Nation, who were here way before any zoning decisions/designations were made?”