Wainwright for council vacancy
February 28, 2019
To The Eagle:
The time has come for Bill Wainwright to step up, cross the line and apply to fill the vacancy on Cathlamet’s town council. He is energetic, committed and opinionated. He does not agree with the mainstream view on the body – whose proponents have remarkably thin skin to criticism or scrutiny. And he claims to support the notions of fairness and transparency. To which I say: show us.
Bill might benefit from seeing the process from inside, a perspective that would likely moderate his views somewhat. The council majority – which must vote to approve Bill – could regain some credibility by welcoming a vocal critic. If our local democracy is really about consensus-building and compromise, this is a no-brainer.
Further moves forward are also obvious. Bill should cease his recall agitations. Mayor Jacobson should immediately move to reactivate the planning commission, and also fill any vacancies on the parks committee, the library board, etc. The collapse of the planning commission, which oversees things like building permit petitions, waterfront management and long-term land-use planning, puts those tasks in the hands of a council with a massive credibility deficit. Reviving citizen participation would signal healing.
Lastly, elected officials should commit to serving out their terms. Mid-cycle resignations favor the selection of insiders by the current council. Barring illness or family crisis, if you run for office plan to stick it out for four years – because quitting midway does the community a disservice.
To the council and its most vocal critic: do the right thing.