Spader Bay purchase by city shows 'failure of leadership'


Dear Editor,

Merely the fact that the purchase of the Spader Bay property was on the agenda shows the failure of leadership in the Mayor’s office. After claiming for years we should run the city as a business, Mayor Cooney has repeatedly dismissed his proclamation and lurched towards favoring ingratiating his status with those he considers more influential or recognized successful patrons of our community and dismissed the needs of the City infrastructure, staff and local citizens. This is not new to Mayor Cooney he has often taken the contrarian view, resulting in the loss of competent staff, local housing, and a major ecological, and a financial cost to the City of Chelan. 

His first major successful sale (as a councilman) was to convince the City Council to give away to new home builders our water and sewer services. My last count was he delivered to the local residents around $500,000 in debt, which should have been covered by the new homeowner’s. You are now paying that bill with the new higher water and sewer charges. 

Undisclosed to us is the real cost of recycling. Several months ago, he claimed on KOZI radio the recycling program was running in the black. (no part of City government runs in the black, cities are not allowed to make a profit) This at a time another $7,000 was transferred from the garbage account to the recycling account for the purchase of more recycling bins.  It costs four times as much to recycle as it does to dump. Your garbage rates are increasing to pay for the recycling program hidden in the garbage rates. The curbside recycling is an expensive program not meeting the goals of conservation.

A third point, he opposed the funding of Lake Chelan Research Institute for the monitoring of water quality in Lake Chelan. That funding was for $20,000 per year for five years. Now he is in favor of purchasing an undeveloped property with no beach access for over $70,000 per year for 20 years. This so tourist can look at the lake and trample thru an otherwise quiet neighborhood. Who is Mayor Cooney working for?

Two years ago, the City Council identified about $10,000,000 in projects that needed funding. We identified miles of trails that need improving and completing. The golf course needs improved teeing areas and irrigation system, cost; over $1,000,000. Don Morse Park can use $2,000,000 to complete part of the plan started five years ago. The maintenance shop construction, passed by the council two years ago has been shelved, it would have improved efficiency and work conditions for park employees. A well liked and competent employee, Karen Sargent is now gone. Do we need another unfunded project at Spader Bay?

Purchasing view property and undeveloped trail property was never on the list. Spader Bay property does not provide safe lake access or a beach for either tourist or locals. Mayor Cooney’s confluence of a desire for more beach access with the Spader Bay property is a perfect example of the misdirection you can expect from the Mayor’s office in the future.

Skip Morehouse,



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