The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

After court decision, questions still remain


January 31, 2019

To The Eagle:

Although the judge determined that there are no legal grounds for recalling three members of the town council for misfeasance regarding the purchase of the lot next to the Bank of the Pacific, the bad odor surrounding these good people persists.

Why, when there is a shortfall in funds for desirable expenditures such as the town library, did these officials authorize the purchase of a contaminated property not needed by the town?

Why did the negotiated purchase price exceed the appraised value by $28,000?

Lastly, why did the council members hastily proceed with the purchase despite the then town attorney’s, Ms. Heywood’s, advice to wait until the existing restrictive covenant involving toxic waste was clearly understood?

“Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more” aside (Monty Python fans will understand), what is the plan for this white elephant? Is it to spend yet more money that the town claims not to have? Already, council members Cameron, Burnham, and Smith plus the mayor ordered that the impoverished town treasury, filled by taxpayer money and “guarded” by the town council, pay for court costs arising from this debacle. Wahkiakum county residents already paid for the time spent by the county prosecutor on the careful preparation of the memorandum in support of the (recall) petition and the ballot synopsis. Can this be right?

If the mayor persists in his exclusive use of the town-owned lot on 2nd Street, I encourage the council to assess a parking/storage fee or to offer him a lease on the property.

This tax-paying voter expects the involved members of the town council to do the honorable thing and resign en masse. We need a citizen group to look into these and other issues that lurk in the dark (the assessor’s “moeki” comes to mind).

Lastly, as there appear to be plenty of funds in the county budget for the hiring of various consultants and for purchasing vehicles and computers, I ask that a look be taken at improving the sound quality in the courtroom because it is almost impossible for the public to follow the court proceedings.

Ursula Petralia



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