Bureaucrat takes aim at Raccoon Lodge | Letter to the editor

Posted 11/23/22

This is regarding the city’s proposed action to remove an art installation, Kevin Mason’s “Raccoon Lodge,” in the 1300 block of Clay Street. 

Rather than work with …

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Bureaucrat takes aim at Raccoon Lodge | Letter to the editor

Posted

This is regarding the city’s proposed action to remove an art installation, Kevin Mason’s “Raccoon Lodge,” in the 1300 block of Clay Street. 

Rather than work with Kevin to protect the Lodge, an “inspector” demands that it be removed. I understand the Leader will be at a gathering at Kevin’s on Saturday, Nov. 12 at noon; thank you. Kevin invited us to attend a “Farewell” to his artwork, but many of us are gathering with the intent to object to the City’s unreasonable action. I sent this to the city comment email:

I live around the corner from Kevin. He is an artist and craftsman of the first calibre. People like Kevin make PT what it is, rather, what many of us thought it was — a special place where creativity and community were valued.

Now, someone at the city seems to have become something of a petty, officious bureaucrat. That this beautiful and expressive art is now slated for removal indicates a disconnect between those in city government and citizens who value artistic expression and individualism. Yes, even if the art is quirky. Or especially if it is quirky. 

Without creative expression, we will become another sterile, unidentifiable town. 

What’s next? Are you coming for the wind chimes, Little Libraries, fence decor, bird houses?

We don’t want CC&Rs by authoritarian decree! We may as well live in The Villages. Remember Pete Seeger’s recording of “Little Boxes?” I suggest city staff listen up.

Meanwhile, some of my friends have been waiting for building/renovation permits for months — and months. 

Norma Bishop
PORT TOWNSEND

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  • Mike Loriz

    As a believer in civilization, including the rule of law, I submit that Port Townsend Municipal Code Section 12.04.075 addresses this case quite well.

    When I moved here eight years ago, the outgoing and incoming Public Works Inspectors told me that I had to leave my right-of-way (ROW) exactly as it was. (We were doing a house lift of our Uptown historic Victorian). I thought that order odd, so I familiarized myself with the above section of code.

    I believe it is very well written, and, if I recall correctly, was developed in the 1990s with significant public input. Yet, this code is utterly ignored here. Except for those two PW gents who told me I had to leave mine EXACTLY as it was, which, of course, was incorrect. And cost me many thousands of dollars and a month of my life wasted. The money I don't mind, but the time lost really bugged me, as I have Stage 4 cancer. Those fine gents hammered me like my drill instructors did the first six weeks of AOCS, when they are trying to get one to quit.

    Since then, I've seen all manner of subject code violations: electric and water in the City ROW illegally and without permit. Fences, excavations, walls, walkways- you name it! I joked with my wife that I should bundle them all up and install a fenced lap pool in our ROW. That would look pretty funny across from the Rothschild house, wouldn't it?

    It'll either be a lap pool or a (lawful) 'for sale' sign, I guess. I don't do anarchy well.

    Friday, November 25 Report this