Port Townsend city manager is doing a great job | Letter to the editor

Posted 8/1/22

Last week The Leader ran an article on the Port Townsend city manager’s performance feedback from the city council.

My negative bits of feedback were spliced together and may have read like …

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Port Townsend city manager is doing a great job | Letter to the editor


Last week The Leader ran an article on the Port Townsend city manager’s performance feedback from the city council.

My negative bits of feedback were spliced together and may have read like a strong rebuke of the job he’s doing. I’m sure my wording gave the impression that I don’t support Mr. Mauro in his role. Quite to the contrary.

We may not always see eye-to-eye, and I take seriously my role in representing the people to the city government, not the other way around. But, I believe Mr. Mauro is doing a great job for us on the whole. He is constantly hustling and applying his many talents to the role, and I believe he really cares about this little town we call home. 

I support him and will continue to offer my feedback when I feel it’s warranted. But I’ll make sure to be more constructive next time.

Ben Thomas


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  • HarveyW

    I know Ben tries.

    This is my July 30 email to each council member for the ongoing 8 year record. No responses as usual. Ben has been advised not to respond if I read things correctly over the last few weeks. To fix it you have to admit you broke it. Easy to break it. Then increase damage with mess tents and parking spot tables. No mitigation or information for the public who daily are given parking time limit signage that is a lie. Some benefit and have always benefited on council and now special interests woven into the political fabric. Mauro is their choice and foot soldier who seems to be making policy rather than following direction of a diverse and critical thinking council.

    As with Timmons

    Hello Council-

    For the ongoing record-I do know you have heard it all before. The ongoing damages grow. As this illustrates.

    The first picture attached of a blue Subaru that is a new regular all-day parker that has chosen a space next to my business as her personal regular spot. Just one example of dozens. Today someone else took "her" spot, so she is parked closer to where she works at Khu Larb. Her convenience and others are funded by the City Council @ $300 (the cities own study) per day taken from community income. Multiply by dozens daily. For years on end. Sustainable?

    It would be a terrible idea to speak to the Subaru owner about damaging business access for everyone's businesses including where she works. That would be "rude" no matter how presented. Been there done that with attacks on Facebook the result.

    Her employers as Council's proxies regularly also take spaces next to my business but not directly in front of theirs. The xxxxxx hotel, xxxxxxxxxx Hotel, xxxxx shop etc etc all take spaces all day near me that I have no choice but to see. The Hotels both have private parking spots they elect not to use more often than not. Easier to park on the street. It is encouraged by you the Council and your employee Mr. Mauro, apparently so far, a condition of his employment.

    New council becomes indoctrinated and corrupted. Like quicksand. Recovery! Resilience! Community!

    It really is Orwellian. Council and Mauro, previously Timmons, say you can't afford to plan and enforce. Some investments have huge returns, are "sustainable" and don't treat visitors and businesses like fools, as you all do with shallow thinking.

    Critical thinking reveals that this elimination of parking is happening regularly with new people arriving and has been happening for over 8 years as new folks come here to work, and those who have been taught to take spaces tell fellow employees to just park anywhere all day. No big deal. The City encourages it because Council encourages it.

    I know Council was made aware of ongoing damages via public input that you ignore. This was magnified when you chose to let mess tents and parking space dining continue to benefit a minority and negatively impact the majority.

    But only through December, you promise, as the prime months are sacrificed for special interests. You drive wedges you don't have to witness.

    Observing one council person I supported to replace someone who "could be told nothing and knew everything" become comfortably numb is sad but no surprise. Ben Thomas tries but is learning not to rock this boat, and that politics is being ok with some damage to gain support for pet causes.

    The City Council damages and impedes. For years. Its "normal". Mr. Mauro continues the long tradition at your direction.

    Fact. Each of you individually do nothing. What is ruder? You or me?

    At minimum the reaction to purposefully limited notice of permanent mess tents showed you far more businesses than mine are aware of damage done to their access and bottom line. But you ignore current daily problems and promise later fixes. The damages and limited notice define all of you who are part of it.

    Resilience! Recovery! Community! You the Council and your employee Mauro are disassociated from reality. But superficially polite.


    If I were on Council, I would ask about this way of doing things.

    Second pic is of empty mess tent and people parallel parked in angle parking spots converting 4 spaces to two due to faded out striping. Ben Thomas explained to me that bids just got accepted and maybe work will start on striping. Or not.

    I know I have to plan for regular maintenance and expenses. Who is managing the planners who fail to plan and let things go so far? Why does the City not have painting equipment and supplies to spread out over the year during good weather maintaining striping? Or just do spot repairs as needed. It's not a complicated thing to do or schedule.

    Could it save problems and money?

    Finally, a qualified City Manager knows they can negatively impact the entire polite culture of a town. Timmons destroyed that in reality. Now organizations are the community that cannot call out other organizations who cause damages. Some make very good money at it.

    Mauro was dropped into a maze with only one route possible to satisfy those who put him in his position.

    Enjoy your power to damage most of us, favor some and delude each other. Is that sustainable?

    Harvey Windle

    Collateral Damage

    Wednesday, August 3 Report this