Sumner – The Sumner City Council postponed the adoption of Resolution 1377 regarding increased rail traffic at its Feb. 18 meeting.
It was not the same resolution that Council Member Nancy Dumas had submitted.
“In my absence, my resolution went away,” Dumas said. “It is [now] watered down and does not protect our citizens,”
Dumas was in Washington DC during the previous Study Session.
The resolution, as presented at the meeting, would have the Council examine the impact of increased rail traffic, including coal trains.
The City of Sumner would then ask to meet with representatives from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad to find ways to address local concerns of increased rail traffic. The Council would then ask the railroad to keep environmental and economic impacts as low as possible.
The rails are near residential neighborhoods, the public library and schools. The Mayor and Council are not only concerned about increased emissions, including coal dust, from trains and stopped traffic waiting to cross the rail, but are also concerned about the economic effects of the trains.
“The resolution I submitted is very different from this,” Dumas said. Dumas had submitted a resolution used in Edmunds, but crossed out “Edmunds” and wrote “Sumner”.
Other members of the council thought this was an example of a possible resolution for Sumner, not an actual resolution.
Council Member Randy Hynek said that it is common policy to call for clarification if someone is unsure.
“Why wasn’t she called?” Hynek asked. “My concern is that Dumas followed procedures and the resolution is not here today.”
Hynek mentioned that the Council had followed the same procedures for eight years.
“This Council is uninformed, and that’s a shame, because it’s at the expense of our citizens,” Hynek said.
Deputy Mayor, Mike LaMaster, said that picking up the phone goes both ways.
The 150 plus page packets are published on the City of Sumner website Friday before each meeting. Had Dumas looked for her resolution she could have called and had it fixed.
Council Member Cindi Hochstatter told Dumas, “Just because you bring something up, that doesn’t mean that it will be passed.”
After much debate, Mayor Dave Enslow suggested passing the resolution as is, and passing another if needed.
Instead, after 45 minutes, the Council postponed further discussion of the resolution until the Study Session on Feb. 25.