How many decisions are made by our Twisp town officials that give enough consideration to outcomes?
The vacation of Third Avenue has shown its predictable outcome in a most unpleasant way. The large delivery trucks that serve many downtown businesses, that supply the community with goods we rely on, are now finding themselves unable to safely maneuver the alternate route of Second Avenue. Delivery drivers report the overhanging trees, new power poles, and lack of directional access are problematic. The town will now implement a solution to this by restricting parking on Second Avenue for certain periods of the day to create space for the delivery drivers.
In looking at the area, it seems it is equally a directional as well as space problem. Hopefully this will bring some relief to the drivers and the businesses that rely on efficient delivery systems — businesses that we love and love to support!
However, it cannot be overlooked that this exact scenario now playing out in town was addressed during public comment period for the new Town Hall. Affected business owners asked for a feasibility study and/or shutdown of Third Avenue with ecology blocks for a day or two to observe the impact a permanent closure would have on traffic. One suggestion carried a cost, the other carried none. Neither was given consideration.
The examples seem to pile up when downstream impacts are ignored, at times it seems willfully. To me, we are far too often subject to double and triple taxation in these examples. Don’t we pay an architect, engineer and planner and at times our town attorney to carefully manage impact and outcomes? What happens when we pay twice on issues to be corrected or revisited, when a band id fix is applied to a serious issue?
The answers can be found by attending meetings. Review the warrants paid out each month. Ask for info on the ARPA grant funds. Find out what kinds of solutions are being proposed — ask for consideration on what costs will be in the long run.
“This is a season-ender.” So began Winthrop’s mayorin a quote seen ’round the West. This mentality of doom and gloom is not something that should be broadcast and heralded by the leaders in our valley. National and international media has picked up on the fires, the closures, the poor air quality in the Methow Valley: All of that information is readily available.
The truth is, many of us are still here. Many valley businesses are still open. Many are doing our best to continue employing those who need work and to provide necessary services like food, lodging, child care and a respite of indoor, clean air spaces. Many are still here, farming, gardening, working construction, living life and trying to get by. We do the best we can and choose the best air quality index moments of day or night for our specific place in the valley to venture outside.
And no one — not even the brave firefighters with their meteorologists — knows exactly what this fire will do or how long the smoke will be with us.
Instead of highlighting the negatives, and stating, “even favorable weather might not help at this stage,” and that “the only cure for a fire this size is snow … likely … in October,” leadership should reflect on how their words directly affect businesses. Leadership should be highlighting ways to help, reinforcing that we are here, and will be ready to receive tourists again just as soon as this fire dissipates … and that could be a lot sooner than October.
General Manager, Old Schoolhouse Brewery