SnoCo Councilman Mike Cooper: "Have You Stopped Beating Your Mother?"

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Snohomish County Councilman, and current Chairman, Democrat Mike Cooper -- himself a former firefighter -- believes that increasing the initial cost of homes by thousands of dollars, and the cost of maintenance of those homes by hundreds or thousands more over their lifetimes, is an acceptable thing to force on homeowners in the county. (Ultimately, the proposal was not acted on.)

I am not sure why anyone would be in favor of this; anyone who wants the sprinklers and can afford them, can get them. Why force it?

Regardless, it's one thing to believe that the government has a right, or obligation, to force their views of cost vs. safety onto consumers. It's another thing to be a complete jerk about it.

KING5 had better video than this on May 6, the date of the public hearing, but I can't find it on their web site. So I pulled this off the Council's video web site. Here's the lovely transcript of an exchange (starting at about 46:20) between Cooper (on the far left of the council table) and David Toyer, a representative of the Master Builders Association (just off the screen to the left, at the podium).

This clip is just a small portion of the entire discussion.

Cooper: "So, my question for you and your organization is: what is the acceptable kill rate? Because for me and the people that are sitting out here who do the job [of firefighting] every day, it's zero. For the Master Builders, what is the acceptable kill rate? Before you would put a price on a human life?"

Toyer: "I think you're looking at this in the wrong way, Mr. Cooper. I think you're looking at an issue which is: what is the consumer choice on this? We all have when we, anything we choose, whether it be life insurance, car insurance, house insurance, we have options that we can choose. Now there are things at the state level, they're like, put mandates on medical insurance, that certain coverage be provided.

"But it's at what cost and what level of safety does the individual want for themselves? And I think you need to leave it to the choice of the individual, and it shouldn't be mandated by this county council."

Cooper: "So the Master Builders' position is, it's acceptable for people to die in fires."

I hope Council District 3 is proud of their representative.

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