Helps responds to editorial from Seattle Times

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is motivated to get the Capital Regional District's sewage treatment plant on the ground after editorial

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is motivated to get the Capital Regional District’s sewage treatment plant on the ground after an editorial from a U.S. newspaper criticizing the timeline of the project.

“I don’t think I can be anymore motivated than I already am, well before the Seattle editorial,” said Helps, who is also the chair of the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee. “Myself and my colleagues at the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee are are very dedicated to getting this done for a series of reasons.”

Last Sunday, the Seattle Times released an editorial “Sewage treatment: Victoria’s constipated political process needs fixing,” criticizing the Capital Regional District for being slow to get the wastewater sewage treatment facility off the ground. They also threatened a boycott of Victoria.

“The Victoria region is back to square one, with no treatment plant on the horizon. The failure is an embarrassment for stately Victoria, and it undermines the rigorous work to clean up Puget Sound,” said the editorial.

But Helps said the timing of it was ironic since earlier that week, the committee sent out a press release about hiring consultants to complete an analysis of the work and costing options, and has selected six individuals to the technical oversite panel.

“The lesson learned is we also need to brief the Seattle media. We now have a media contact for all media outlets in Seattle because had they received that press release, they wouldn’t have printed the editorial because they would see that we are indeed making progress,” Helps said, adding the newspaper published her response to the editorial as well.

“There was lots of information available in Seattle, but I think it just didn’t get into the hands of The Seattle Times. It’s a joint responsibility, they need to ask and we need to send.”

The committee hopes to have a fully-approved plan by March 2016.