Possible government shutdown won't stop development in Black Diamond | KUOW News and Information

Possible government shutdown won't stop development in Black Diamond

Feb 15, 2017

The City of Black Diamond may have to shut down, according to its mayor. That is, unless the mayor and the City Council can agree on a budget for 2017 at a meeting Thursday night.


On the surface, the disagreement appears to be about government spending. But below that is a deeper disagreement over how much to spend on oversight of a massive development that will dwarf the size of the existing town.

Former King County Councilmember Brian Derdowski is a critic of the development. He’s been advising the City Council (pro bono, he said) to resist what he considers the mayor’s scare tactics.

Derdowski: “We won’t give in to tyrants so we get our water, so we get our police.”

Mayor Carole Benson said the city is doing a fine job already watching over the developer. She’s called for the City Council to approve her budget.

Meanwhile, the 6,000 house development can out-wait a city government shutdown. Brian Ross is CEO of the developer, Oakpointe. 

Ross: “For sure, we would have to stop working, there’s no question about that. And there would be a significant financial impact to us. But it won’t permanently change anything. We own the land, the projects are approved, and it would just be a temporary delay.”

The city’s interim budget expires at the end of March. But the mayor said the government shutdown would begin long before that.

These two Brians, Brian Ross, CEO of Oakpointe (L) and Brian Derdowski, former King County Council member (R) have different visions for Black Diamond, Washington.
Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols