Skykomish is struggling to avoid becoming just one more US Highway 2 ghost town. Nearby Grotto and others have already been pushed into the dust bin of history.
Some were one horse towns. When their dominant industry and largest employer closed, residents fled, leaving only weeds to sprout from cracks in the street.
Sky’s death unfortunately won’t be this quick or merciful. Its slow, painful descent into obscurity follows decades of hellish suffering from self inflicted wounds.
Sky’s K-12 school, with its stark depression era architecture, looks forlorn, now severely polluted, and with more administrators and teachers than students.
Houses sit empty, businesses remain shuttered. Ghosts cry out from once great structures, as those who cared for them have run screaming from this once bustling town.
Two bars, a couple of liquor stores remain to lubricate the entitlement based inhabitants, commuters and occasional passersby.
What Went Wrong?
Sky’s logging, milling and railroad service based economy hit a speed bump as World War II ended. Those with get up and go got up and left, leaving old timers, pensioners, welfare recipients, those on disability benefits and a few ski bums to manage things.
This group wasn’t able to shoulder the responsibilities that come with self government, preferring instead to hang out inside taverns. They tried as hard as they could to hand off their responsibilities to whoever they could find, lasso or corral.
This effort succeeded in the mid 1980s’ when the Town signed an Interlocal Agreement with King County. In exchange for vague promises to revive their moribund economy, the Town ceded authority to the County’s rule making bodies.
While the County didn’t fulfill its commitment to help revive the town’s struggling economy, it did introduce a full compliment of bureaucratic rules, red tape, committees, commissions, boards and blue ribbon panels that made sure the town’s economy would never rise from the cold coroner’s slab.
The Environmental Cleanup Scam
BNSF Railway, one of America’s largest megal corporations (owned by Warren Buffett) is responsible for severely polluting the town’s soil and water table with a large plume of diesel oil and bunker fuel.
Now devoid of intelligent life, corrupt town officials sold the town’s future to this serial environmental scofflaw for a fist full of dollars.
A seven year long environmental cleanup scam left the town just as polluted as before, destroyed most remaining businesses, saddled residents with a multi-million dollar waste water treatment facility they couldn’t afford and left the town gasping when Mayor Fred Black suddenly departed for Kansas, following disclosure that $2.3 million had gone missing from town coffers.
Two of the town’s most important historic structures, the Skykomish Hotel and McEvoy House were left without operational utilities, forcing their vacancy. The Sky River Inn, a popular resort, was demolished as part of the ‘cleanup’ and then prevented from being rebuilt.
Back to the Present
This Thursday, November 21, 2013, Skykomish Building Inspector (like the town needs a ‘building inspector’), Mike Descheemaeker, is conducting an Official Hearing to once again restate the obvious: The First Amendment to the US Constitution doesn’t apply in Skykomish.
Long time resident, Rick Aydelotte, is charged with Sign Ordinance Violation, following his posting signs (on his property) identifying Town Officials Henry Sladek and Charlotte Mackner, along with the amounts of money they took from the BNSF Railway in exchange for agreeing to the railroad’s ‘preferred cleanup plan’ which was ‘no cleanup’, just a ‘paving over the pollution plan’.
If town officials don’t like being called out, they shouldn’t have taken the money and violated state ethics laws.
Sky, fast approaching ghost town status, has been doing one crazy thing after another in a vain attempt to stop its death spiral. Destroying the Skykomish Hotel, McEvoy House, Sky River Inn and building the ‘Kiddie Train Ride’ (Great Northern & Cascade Railway) with taxpayer money are recent, expensive examples.
Sky, a town with plenty of drunks, crime, pollution, scandals, thugs and corruption, now has nothing better to do than chase another long-time resident out of town.
This move isn’t about a Sign Ordinance or even hating Rick Aydelotte for calling attention to Sky scandals and corruption. This is about Sky’s very existence.
The last thing Sky needs is less people and more vacant, decaying structures.
Wake up people and stop this insane Municipal Suicide farce!
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