Letter to the Editor: Winlock Mayor Responds to Coverage of Recent Meeting


In the Lewis County News’ May 18, 2022, edition, an article was printed and distributed containing inaccuracies and statements which have caused unnecessary confusion. This letter is in response to that article.

On Monday, May 9, 2022, the City of Winlock held its regular city council meeting at 6 p.m. A large crowd was in attendance. All of the City of Winlock’s regular and special council meetings are subject to the Open Public Meetings Act. The City of Winlock invites and encourages all individuals who would like to attend a meeting to do so. The articles included statements from the public, including one statement about how other members of the public should not have attended the meeting and were “mean-muggin” them. The statements included how the other members of the public blocked the doorways, preventing them from being allowed to leave. The city is unaware of such conduct, and as mentioned previously, the City of Winlock, its city council and staff does not discriminate, nor do they exclude members of the public from attending its meetings. The article insinuates certain individuals or groups should not be permitted to attend Winlock City Council meetings. This is a violation of the law and the city will not participate in nor condone such actions. Again, all are welcome.

There were two separate issues brought up during the meeting which involves the City of Winlock’s urban growth area (UGA). One issue involves the UGA and the other involves a parcel just outside of the UGA. The former is annexation of the current existing UGA into the incorporated city limits of the City of Winlock. The latter is the expansion of the UGA to include a single 77.21-acre parcel. Please note, this parcel is not part of the annexation mentioned above and would not be within the incorporated city limits upon completion of the annexation. The corporation referred to as CHI in the article, better known as Crow Holdings International, in the group who asked the City of Winlock for help with obtaining county approval to add the 77.21-acre parcel to the City of Winlock’s UGA. Crow Holdings International is not paying for nor is it involved with the annexation of the UGA into city limits.

Although public comment has not been required by law historically, the City of Winlock allows members of the public to comment during its meetings. During the public comment portion of the meeting, many individuals asked questions about the annexation, certain ongoing development projects and various other issues. Many of the questions related to the development codes, most of which were enacted under the prior mayor and council. The process for updating a development code is lengthy. The city is currently in the beginning of this process.

There are approximately 21 development projects with 1,277 proposed residences and eight proposed commercial buildings. As to be expected, it is difficult if not nearly impossible to remember each specific project. I referred many questions to the Community Development Department who are more versed in the specifics of the projects.

One of the issues on the agenda included the wage increase for the chief of police and the officers. The council voted with a 3-2 split in favor of approving the wage increase for members of the police department.

The council briefly discussed grant funding. The city and its officials are aware grant funding is not guaranteed and they have engaged a consultant to help them with the process of obtaining various grants.


Brandon Svenson