Council rushing ahead on questionable deal
April 18, 2019
To The Eagle:
At the April 15 town council meeting, 13 members of the public were in attendance, excluding county employees. One issue of interest was the council-planned installation of a sixth (!) Wahkiakum County park at the Butler lot site whose purchase price (paid for by you, the taxpayer) exceeded the appraised value and resulted in the request for a recall, paid by private citizens, of the mayor and three council members. The case is currently undergoing an appeal process, and its defense, by vote of the council, has so far also been paid by you, the taxpayer. At the Monday meeting, I proposed that the council make no decisions involving the expenditure of our money until the appeal process is completed.
The issue of people parking behind the library was raised, and the suggestion was made to prohibit parking there by people not visiting the library or the community center. No more parking at the Butler lot, no parking at the lot where the mayor prefers to park his vehicles, no parking behind the library! Where will visitors of the sixth park leave their vehicles?
Some friends and I have been asking for opponents of the park to sign a petition. Owners of local venues and employees of Wahkiakum County expressed fear of retribution were they to sign. Others stated that, on principle, they do not sign anything. I suggest that they move to a country where dictators have already relieved citizens of the disagreeable duty of expressing their wishes. Our country still pretends to be a democratic republic. Republic (res publica) means things of the public; democracy means rule by the people. So, if you want to continue enjoying the benefits of living in a democratic republic, and/or if you are opposed to rule by government, then please do your duty and speak out, for or against the park, for or against political candidates.
I was also appalled by the lack of knowledge displayed by some of the council members on issues of importance such as the local disaster mitigation plan and Robert’s Rules of Order. Ms. Costich was courteous and patient in explaining the latter and in reiterating her request that the council submit/assess/approve vouchers from 2018. Mayor Jacobson revealed at least some knowledge of Robert’s Rules by making enthusiastic use of the gavel to prevent the airing of unwanted questions/comments. Way to go, public servants!