Commentary: A letter to MLT businesses from Proposition 1 campaign


Dear local businesses,

A letter from Prop. 1 opponents smearing the name of some of our local businesses was recently published on We wanted to let you know that this view is not shared by a majority of Mountlake Terrace residents. We love our local businesses, big ones, small ones, all of them, and we value your participation in our community.

One business that was criticized was Premera Blue Cross. With around 3,000 employees in MLT, Premera is the largest employer in the city, providing jobs to many Mountlake Terrace residents. In the past Premera has donated to our National Night Out, where residents interact with and get to know our first responders. They’ve also donated to the Farmer’s Market and have been involved in the Tour de Terrace festival we have each year. Premera has years of dedicated service and generous donations to the health and wellness of Mountlake Terrace citizens, youth and families. Other financial contributions include Youth Recreation Scholarships, concert in the park sponsorship, and supporting the city’s 50th birthday celebration.

Waste Management was another company that was criticized. While they aren’t located in Mountlake Terrace they provide hundreds if not thousands of jobs for people in the region. Waste Management donates volunteers for cleanup after events in our city like Tour de Terrace, National Night Out and provides the free Earth Day E-Waste recycling program coming up on Saturday.

Both these companies have great community outreach programs and are great models of how local businesses can partner with residents and City government to improve our community. They also both see that Proposition 1 is good for the community and good for businesses and have contributed to the campaign to help spread the word.

So from the Yes for MLT campaign and Mountlake Terrace residents, thank you. Thank you to Premera, Waste Management, Double DD Meats, Red Onion, Roger’s Market, Ace Hardware, Northern Lights, and all the other great local businesses who contribute to this great community.

The Yes for MLT Citizen’s Campaign


  1. About the ‘free’ Earth Day E-Waste program:

    It’s not free. Everything has a cost. Waste Management pays it, and we reimburse them as part of what we pay Waste Management. Don’t be misled into thinking we do not.

    Ignoring costs, as Prop. 1 proponents do when they repeat the falsehood that the City’s costs on a realized City Hall/Civic Center project will be as low as claimed, will end up costing the City’s citizens far more than claimed, in one way or another.

    Voting for the measure and then electing not to fund it if it passes, an option available to many seniors in MLT, might be ‘free’ to them. It will increase costs for the rest of us.

    Finally, while you are thanking businesses, perhaps consider thanking the business at the corner of 236th and 56th. That business is spending an awful lot of money to upgrade a substantial part of core downtown real estate, and the bond measure has nothing to do with it.


    • Bob, the developer of the property at 56th/236th is Afco & Sons, their office is in the building to the south that they developed several years ago. They are very much supporters of Proposition 1 and we thank them for their support.


  2. The MLT No on Prop 1 Facebook page states that Waste Management contributed $3,000 to your campaign, and that Premera Blue Cross contributed $2,500 to it, according to PDC filings.

    So, my question to the author(s) of this letter is whether those donations came with an understanding that letters like this would be written in exchange.

    Quid pro quo, anyone?

    And to the staff, wouldn’t it be useful for financial disclosures like this to be mentioned along with the publication of a letter? They certainly seem to be worth of mention.


    • Bob I think you might have missed the earlier letter from Prop. 1 opponents criticizing local businesses for their involvement. This letter was merely stating that we don’t share the same opinion and we value all of our local businesses that contribute to our economy.


      • In particular you apparently value the ones that make the largest contributions to your campaign.

        I miss less than you think. I can also do math.


  3. Bob,

    Did the “No” campaign make deals with businesses & citizens that if they donated, they would get letters published? Seems odd that you would even ask such a question!

    Did you even notice that the person who wrote the letter thanked multiple local businesses. I would bet the reason why they specifically thanked Waste Management & Premera is because those are the businesses that multiple “No” people have called out. They didn’t do anything illegal or immoral, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why the “No” people are so up in arms about it.

    I try as much as possible to shop with local businesses – if I give them money, they in turn will invest it in the local area.

    I think you see what you want to see and miss what you want to miss.


  4. C,mon Mr. Dekoekkoek. Bob Smith didn’t miss what the critical letter said anymore than he missed what your response was not “merely stating.”

    Incendiary rhetoric is not a response to a letter critical of large campaign contributions made by well-known businesses whose services, like those of city government, can hardly be avoided. The implication of the term “smearing” is that an untruth has been used to taint a reputation.

    Premera’s history of generosity to the community at large neither explains nor excuses their one-sided involvement in the Prop 1 campaign. Ditto for Waste Management. Except in your apology, “Community outreach” isn’t normally uttered in the same sentence as large campaign donations. And the term used when city government convinces wealthy businesses to make a one-sided bet against a large percentage of a city’s population isn’t partnering.

    The final insinuation of the article is also not correct. Not all the great local businesses who regularly contribute to this great community have contributed to the YES campaign.


  5. Jennifer,

    Large local businesses with captive clientele are contributing large sums of that clienteles’ money siding with a portion of our population to the exclusion of the other portion. By their sheer size and community presence, they are de facto local institutions. Reverse the roles and think about it. Do you really not understand why people would be upset by that?




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