Apparently we are “trouble makers”. When my friend Mark told me that was how we were characterized in a meeting with the county I agreed wholeheartedly. Let me explain. Last week I got an email from Professor Mark Auslander about an article that ran in the Daily Record on April 20th. In this article we found out that the County planned to buy the Shady Acres Trailer Park next to the fairgrounds for $1.45 million dollars. They will displace the residents (although to be fair they are giving them a year to get out) thus allowing the county to have more RV parking for the Rodeo on two weekends out of the year.
Let me be clear – we are going to displace 103 people in order to have more RV parking for two weekends out of the year! But don’t worry the bar on the property will be left because that is “kind of an icon”. This is your tax dollars at work.
Where will these families go? Not much thought has been put into that. The county has plans to hire a mediator to help them find new homes, but what the county has done no research in is the state of low income housing in Ellensburg. Nancy Goodloe and I are heading to a meeting at Hopesource later today and we will keep you updated on this matter. But I can tell you from my almost two years here that there is very little available low-income housing. Nowhere near 58 units.
The priceless comments from our County Commissioner Obie O’Brien are in this: http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/members/county-to-assist-mobile-home-park-residents-in-move/article_9b6bea76-0bd1-11e6-91c8-23e2cdfacebf.html
We helped to organize a meeting between concerned parties on Monday. The county is not pleased with us. This article addresses the meeting we hosted: http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/members/coalition-forms-against-mobile-home-park-purchase/article_f5563550-0bd1-11e6-af12-e35a53b4afd0.html
Here is what I know, the Gospel calls us to love our neighbors, not our fellow middle class neighbors, but all our neighbors. So if we need to be “troublemakers”… so be it.