Laborers to County Council: Don’t Regulate Whatcom’s Economic Future Away

A recent op-ed by a Washington labor leader in the Everett Herald made the compelling case for the Whatcom County Council to be prudent and judicious in how it approaches making regulatory changes with regard to the Cherry Point Industrial Zone in a world still reeling from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, Stacy Martin, the business manager and secretary/treasurer for Washington Laborers Union 292, based in Everett and representing Cherry Point workers , said in that “what should be obvious, by now, is the fact that our elected officials must exercise great caution when moving forward with policies that effect our jobs and the businesses that provide them.”

Businesses need certainty, Martin writes, saying that “Cherry Point is already regulated by some of the strictest and most comprehensive environmental regulations in the world. Cherry Point is the economic foundation of Whatcom County, an engine that creates huge direct and indirect impacts. The Whatcom County Council needs to be mindful of these impacts, aware of our current landscape, and very careful that it does not regulate Cherry Point away from Whatcom County.”

Martin also makes the case for Council to follow the recommendations of its Planning Commission who spent considerable time gathering input from all stakeholders to improve Council’s initial proposal.

“The good news is that a clear path forward — with strong community guidance and input — is on the table. A year after the initial amendments were submitted, the county planning commission had its final public hearing on the Whatcom County Council Cherry Point amendments. After working with all stakeholders, the commission made important recommended changes to the council’s amendments, changes that more accurately reflected today’s realities.”

To read the full op-ed: Comment: Cherry Point code must balance environment, jobs | HeraldNet.com