Change the law to stop the abuse | Letter to the editor

Posted 2/17/21

I live near Salish Coast Elementary School, and walk past it every day. 

There, during this pandemic, whether students have been physically present in the classrooms or not, I have seen …

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Change the law to stop the abuse | Letter to the editor

Posted

I live near Salish Coast Elementary School, and walk past it every day. 

There, during this pandemic, whether students have been physically present in the classrooms or not, I have seen dedicated school employees handing out meals to children whose families cannot afford groceries. 

Then I read in the pages of The Leader that Eric Hood of Whidbey Island took $12,500 of our tax money, during a pandemic, that could have been used to feed those children or buy supplies that the school district needs to educate them. 

The problem is that Hood technically operates within the law.

The only way to stop him and anyone encouraged by his example is to change the law. 

I urge all of my fellow citizens of Jefferson County (and in all of Washington State, for that matter) to read the story about Hood in the Leader on Jan. 27, 2021, then write our state representatives and request that the law be amended to stop people like Hood.

Our state representatives: Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger. Our state senator: Kevin Van De Wege. You can write to Governor Jay Inslee as well. All of these people have websites with their contact information. 

The law should be a shield that protects us all, but Hood beat that shield into a sword and drove it through not only our hearts, but the hearts of our children. 

Please write our representatives and urge them to beat the law back into the shield that it should be, and take the sword out of the hands of people like Eric Hood.

Michael Buse
PORT TOWNSEND

Comments

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Tom Thiersch

Before vilifying the Public Records Act, remember that without it uncounted numbers of abuses and crimes committed by our government agencies and public officials would never have been uncovered.

Seattle Childrens Hospital immediately comes to mind, and the many deaths that they tried to cover up.

Or the recent fraud at the state Employment Security Department, where 120,000 fraudulent claims were filed in Washington with more than $600 million in payouts. Without a strong Public Records Act, essential for uncovering the facts, how much of this fraud would have remained undiscovered?

Or DSHS, where so many abuses have been uncovered over the years through the power of the Public Records Act.

Or ... review the history since 1972 and see how much benefit we have received because of our Sunshine Laws.

Yes, there are abusers on both sides, but the scales weigh heavily in favor of *more* disclosure. Any time you encourage an agency to hide its activities by creating more exemptions and loopholes, you are inviting more waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption.

Sunday, February 21
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

You make good points Tom. You never comment directly though on City Government's child the FWPDA. Much secrecy and malfeasance there. Day by day right now they further entrench themselves without public input under David Timmons who drove the City into 17 million in debt and failing roads simply ignored. The City and State both failed to step in earlier at the Campus at Fort Worden the City controls when audits showed a pattern of mismanagement.

The Executive Director now retired and hidden away reaps benefits. He was fired by the City years ago for mis representing his qualifications. Then was installed at Fort Worden. The current City Manager Mauro has similar questions as to qualifications which call to question 2 appointed Mayors, Stinson and Sandoval who vetted him. His review which is also a review of Stinson and Sandoval has been shelved without explanation.

Likewise the City under 3 time Appointed Mayor and 20 year Council member Sandoval ignores its own laws and codes. No plan for parking at all, and all parking enforcement and education was defunded. Real estate benefits. Many suffer the consequences except Sandoval. The costly failed Cherry Street project with building code violations allowed by the City that Sandoval and her employee Rice spearheaded are just two examples.

In these times so few who know specifics speak up. No one connects the dots. Thanks for the times that you do. Why are so many so silent? Corruption is timeless and easily seen if looked in the eye. Orwell put it this way....

A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

Monday, February 22
Tom Thiersch

C Damage,

I'm not a resident of Port Townsend, so I try to not comment on PT politics or shenanigans unless there's also a direct financial impact on county residents like me.

In the case of the FWPDA, I have commented on the misfeasance and malfeasance I see there in my public comments to the Board of County Commissioners, the local government that controls some of my tax money most directly, to stop them from shelling out any more money to the PDA until a full forensic audit has been performed and all of the irregularities have been corrected.

Similarly, because more than half of my property tax bill gets sucked up by PT school district, I often call them out for their mistakes, the worst of which has been the insanely overpriced Salish Cost school project.

It's too bad that the Leader can't afford (financially and politically) to do more investigative reporting.

5 days ago
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

Tom-

Thanks for an explanation that makes sense and a reply. Too bad all we ever get is the sound of crickets from our elected and well paid public servants. New news from this paper is of a proposed "parklet" at the Water Street end of Adams where parking once was. An expensive drawing is included. This benefits more than anyone the winery which took the parking spots away during construction as I remember. Anyone correct me. Now the space is being converted. A familiar play from the familiar play book. Do things in stages, like the story of the frog in a pot of cold water being slowly heated not jumping out. Main Street and Mari Mullen is used once again to do the dirty work. Mari Mullen, you work against me and others, not for us.

There were no reserve funds to fix the corners of uptown Adams street, cost was $14,000. Adams was shut down after near by construction by a contractor for the city damaged the corners. I would have held them responsible. Not this city. There was public input complaining of the "temporary" closure that was months or over a year. Sandoval feigned being shocked and upset, according to the Leader account. Without any notice or further input I know of the corners were fixed and the street shut off with posts recently. This apparently does not shock or upset Appointed 3 time mayor Sandoval.

Now we have $25,000 available in these Covid recovery times for the "parklet" which converts what once was parking. That so many are so out of touch is a symptom of so many being in power so long and not being connected to the real community at all. Perhaps some gravel, parking returned, and $25,000 into a reserve fund, or to begin to re form the defunded volunteer parking enforcement program with some plan and some education for habitual abusers and others would make sense in a town not run into the ditch and off the tracks.

By habitual abusers I mean Sandoval and others like her on the No Term Limit City Council. She is responsible for such a pretty wreck (Port Townsend) with curb appeal. Foundations in real estate are more important in the long run than curb appeal. To reputable realtors in the interest of buyers.

Thanks again Tom, you are appreciated.

7 hours ago
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Notice how that fancypant drawing they $crounged couch-change together to pay for, somehow mysteriously contains a figure which looks remarkably like PT Main Street Foundation's Queen Kris Nelson? The arrogance and hubris on these people would be hilarious if it wasn't creating such a "vibrant community" straight from the icy depths of neolib hell.

55 minutes ago