I was astonished to see Hank Myers’ campaign signs with the 2 large fir trees on it. To me these trees would mean that he is a friend of trees, sustainability, and the environment. My experience with him as a resident of Redmond with his decisions in his fiduciary capacity on the Redmond City Council has been totally opposite of this. I felt that this was very misleading. Then just recently I see in the Voters Pamphlet his statement that he says that he is a Forest Steward and member of Green Redmond (?City of Redmond?). Once again I was dumbfounded.
What does this mean? Does this mean that that he is a member of the Forestry Stewardship Council which works outside of state regulations and is an example of a non-state market driven form of environmental governance; uses the market to drive a sustainable management of forests; whose members operate as individuals with their own agendas and values; and is usually motivated by pragmatic rather than moral considerations?
The Forestry Stewardship Council has been called the “Enron of Forestry” by the Rainforest Foundation. EcoEarth/Rainforest Portal has publicly questioned the FSC-endorsed policies of old-growth forest logging. Or does this mean that he wants to grow economic development between landowners and product users focusing on market place opportunities for tree harvesting without taking into consideration the sustainability, the environment, and valuable human services provided by trees? Included in such services is the provision of local clean air & water, flood and erosion control, noise buffers, increased property values, habitat for local wildlife and recreational opportunities. Removal of large trees eliminates the safeguarding of the health of our children & elders including people with asthma or lung disease, and eliminates maintenance of the legacy of the Tree City character of our town and property values, etc, etc.
Or does it mean that for each Significant or Landmark tree (250 yrs old) removed he plans to plant 3 - 1 foot tall trees with a “canopy” of 1 foot diameter to replace an 80 foot tall tree with a canopy 40 feet in diameter but in a rural areas far from the current neighborhood(eliminating services and benefits the trees provide to the people in the original location)?
My experience was that he “reduced” what he considered the “needless regulation” of the City of Redmond’ s Code (law) that states that any developer needed to leave at least 35% of Significant trees on a development site and all Landmark trees when he voted, over the objections of over 100 Residents, Sustainability/ Environmental Groups, and former Mayors to clear cut approximately 4000 trees from the Group Health Urban Forest site at the border of Redmond and Bellevue. This included 1,133 Significant and Landmark trees.
He did this with full knowledge that this development planned to cover this 28 acre urban forest with 85% concrete; remove air and water cleaning trees that clear air pollution from traffic, etc,etc; will highly impact the health of the adjacent elders at the assisted living residence on the North and the elders, disabled, healthy and health impaired residents of the apartment complex to the South; and overburden the Bellevue schools adjacent to the 1400 apartment complex planned by the developer, not to mention the traffic problems that would occur.
This experience leads me to think that the Hank Myers Signs and his Voters’ Pamphlet Description are very misleading and he will remove or ignore laws voted on by voters. I would prefer to choose someone who is a Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Columbia, Yale and Oxford University who will use his experience to help local startups create new businesses and more jobs in our area and whose proven use of creative solutions has helped him tackle problems successfully in the past and who is concerned with the well being of his constituents. I prefer him to protect our environment, improve our schools, & transportation, and work for Responsible Government. I will be voting for Cyrus Habib.
—Mary Wirta, Redmond