Puget Sound Partnership: Can Anybody Here Figure Out a Plan?

Washington Policy Center Editorial dated July 2012

By Todd Myers, Director, Center for the Environment, July, 2012

Crosscut published this column on July 12, 2012.

“Science — not emotion or expediency — is the most reliable guide to achieving success. The Partnership supports and relies on continuing scientific research to inform its decisions, and to measure what’s working.” – Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda 2012 Draft

After five years as the state’s top environmental initiative, there is widespread agreement that the Puget Sound Partnership is far from living up to its promise. The goal was to provide science-based leadership for the many jurisdictions that have a hand in reducing the environmental impact on the Sound.

That commitment is why we gave the Partnership a favorable review in 2010, encouraging them to “Finish the strategic science plan and review the near-term and long-term goals to make sure they are consistent with science findings.”

The signs of failure, however, have been building for a while. Daniel Jack Chasan wrote in Crosscut in 2010 that the agency was facing a “crossroads” at that time. Earlier this year he wrote again, saying the PSP had not achieved its goals and that “money, goals, and data remain elusive.”

The young agency is already on its third executive director. The first, David Dicks, left following ethics questions and a report from the State Auditor’s Office, which read, in part, “there was just really no indication that they had ever made following state rules and regulations a priority.”

Read the complete editorial here

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