The Skykomish Success Story isn’t quite ready for prime time.
The Monroe Monitor published ‘Skykomish Gears up for Summer’ and ‘Deception Falls Trails Open Again’. The Monitor’s ‘warm and fuzzy’ articles portray Skykomish as a small town getting ready for a successful summer tourist season.
The Facts Paint a Very Different and Disturbing Picture
1. The Maloney General Store once housed the Antique Stove Company, a business that actually produced something of value and contributed to town and county sales tax coffers. This business, along with its owners, is long gone.
The building, now owned by BNSF Railway, is leased to the Town for $1 per year. The Town’s idea of business success is to lease it (essentially rent free) to entities like the recently ‘reconstituted’ Skykomish Hysterical Society and laundrymat.
How many paid employees and how much in tax revenue does this ‘business model’ generate for the local economy? Does ‘zero’ sound about right?
Even with essentially free rent, last year’s much ballyhooed candy store and barbershop/hair salon aren’t mentioned as part of this year’s success story.
2. The Skykomish Hotel, which was slated for a multi-million dollar renovation, was instead destroyed by the Town, as part of its effort to steal it from the owner.
Money that would have been used to restore the Hotel, instead had to be diverted to try and stop this theft, but hey, don’t attorneys deserve a steady pay check too?
Millions of dollars in lost tax revenues, millions in lost employment wages, plus millions in lost spill over effects that never occurred, apparently don’t mean much to a town like Skykomish that is already so successful.
Not to worry, the Hysterical Society’s miniature scale model of the old Hotel looks nice, even if it’s a bit small.
3. Council member Kevin Weiderstrom’s hobby, a miniature choo-choo kiddie train ride (Great Northern & Cascade Railway), is another parasitic taxpayer funded scheme that produces no revenue or paid employment.
It must be nice to blow into a town, get elected to council and stiff taxpayers with over $350,000 in funding for your hobby fantasies (stuff you would never be dumb enough to spend your own money on (if you had any). Great job Kevin!
4. Former Skykomish mayor Fred Black’s long heralded ‘Skykomish Environmental Learning Center’ also once again failed to make it to this year’s list of success stories. Looks like global warming, oops, we mean ‘climate change’ mongering, isn’t as popular as it was just a few years ago. So much for all that taxpayer money given to highly paid consultants.
5. Our school is huge, but has almost no students (everybody’s leaving since the town is so successful). Still, it boasts one teacher for every four pupils and if your count the rest of the highly paid staff, there are more employees than students
Heck, even wealthy, prestigious private schools would kill for a student-teacher ratio like that. This, plus cool stuff like new iPad’s, should definitely have Sky graduating seniors (if there are any) on the pre-approved Harvard and Yale acceptance list, right?
Unfortunately, it’s still a cold, cruel world for those who graduate with diplomas in ‘political correctness’.
Yes, the ground beneath the town and school remains heavily saturated with BNSF Railway diesel oil and bunker fuel pollution, but you know what, if that’s what it takes to keep School District Directors and attorneys well fed and happy, so be it.
6. The Sky River Inn is still ‘missing in action’. Maybe the aliens have it?
7. What about the gas station/convenience store? It isn’t looking too healthy these days.
8. How is Obsidian’s luxury condo project up on the hill coming along? It should be just about ready for rich folks to move into for another ‘successful’ summer season. NOT!
9. What about that low-income housing project going in behind the rail yard, that is supposed to bring in enough sex offenders, welfare immigrants, grant junkies and trustfunders to help get the waste water treatment facility on a paying basis? NOT!
10. What about those water and sewer rates? How’s the Reserve Fund doing? Getting a little nervous, are you?
11. What about the Big Bear restaurant? Did the aliens get it too?
12. How about the Cascadia? Caught in a Bankruptcy loop?
The Bottom Line
Skykomish continues to introduce new ‘visions’, economic revival plans, development models, dreams, schemes and initiatives. Millions have already been spent and millions more have simply vanished into thin air without a trace.
These dreams and schemes share one thing in common… hope and promises of a bright, prosperous, fun filled future for Skykomish.
Monroe Monitor articles build on this theme of ‘hope’. but don’t bother to mention that last year, which used the same taxpayer funded model, was a complete bust, just like the year before that and that and that… (you get the picture).
Everyone is ‘so excited’ about Sky’s bountiful, fun filled, prosperous future that few notice that it never actually arrives.
The real economic situation can only be described as a Desperate, Colossal Failure. Skykomish remains a complete basket case.
Chasing away entrepreneurs, investors and families, while doubling down on stupid, wasteful taxpayer funded schemes isn’t going to arrest Sky’s long and increasingly steep decline into darkness and obscurity.
This is the ‘Real Skykomish Success Story’
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