If "we" were really concerned about growth management, wouldn't anti-growth efforts be focused where the growth is?
And the Growth Management Act is a law under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce, not the Department of Ecology. According to the Act [RCW 36.70a.050(1)],
The department [of commerce] shall consult with the department of agriculture regarding guidelines for agricultural lands, the department of natural resources regarding forest lands and mineral resource lands, and the department of ecology regarding critical areas.That's the sum total of the statutory authority of the Department of Ecology under the GMA: consultation with the Department of Commerce. Then why has Ecology been so intimately involved at the County level for every step? Why does Ecology threaten and bully communities like ours about the Growth Management Hearings Board when the GMA/CAO isn't even their program? When we negligibly (de minimis) contribute to growth in the first place? Why do they spend time and money on a non-problem like us?
Ultimately, this whole affair seems to boil down to bureaucratic ambition, money, and coercion, not addressing real environmental problems. We are told that we initially opted into the GMA because of the promise of more state grants if we played along. These days, our Council members say that we have "lost millions" because we have not been in GMA compliance. They say we'll continue to lose if we fail to heed every word of Ecology on the CAOs.
The entire GMA resembles a Nigerian 419 scam where smaller communities like our own, seemingly always desperate for more money from the state, are willing to ante up for the false promise of riches down the line. And our public officials keep falling for it ... probably because they're not playing with their own money.