On his way out the door at the Montesano City Council meeting last week, former City Councilman Doug Streeter offered his best wishes to the community and a call to stop airing our dirty laundry in the newspaper. Specifically citing the last year and a half period.
Whether or not that coincides with the run of my About Town column in the daily newspaper, celebrating our year and a half anniversary by-the-way, is probably a coincidence.
Lets recap the last year and a half, and let the reader decide if keeping our ever so soiled laundry hidden away from the public – or allowed to air dry in full view of the neighbors is necessary.
Starting with the Redwood trees everyone enjoys in Fleet Park. The trees would be gone now had not the public been informed of the back room push to rip them out to placate one business owner who wanted them gone. Just one
We, the citizens of Montesano lost over forty acres of our city waterfront Chehalis River frontage property for the grand sum of $23,000 to a local developer, who at last reporting in the newspaper, won’t even respond to the city trying to follow up with the “promised” development. There is also more news coming down the pike concerning the promised community access to the river on said land (you won’t believe this one). No notice to the public to purchase the land. I will let you the reader decide if this is just another in a long list of back room good-ole-boy deals. Again, over forty acres on the river – $23,000. (more information on the waterfront issue)
We built a spanking new two million dollar shop building that we didn’t need and couldn’t afford, taking away our city lumber forest to pay for it. Money that is supposed…supposed….to be used to keep our water bills down and reasonable. As of this writing, they still have not replanted the cut directly visible as you enter Lake Sylvia State Park. Why? Well, we have to pay for that shop building monument to the members of the city council that wanted it so bad. To heck with the cost or what had to be sacrificed! Over two years since it was cut. Never mind that forty years from now the future Montesano Citizens won’t have that section of land to log. Well, they can just raise taxes I guess.
Just this past week, in a desperate attempt to find money for the water district, the Montesano City Council, in their wisdom, voted 4-3 to start charging you, the poor schumck taxpayer for any leak that happens, even if you didn’t know about it without a chance to fix it. Several in favor at the City citing, and I paraphrase…..’well that’s how other cities do it.”
Well, we aren’t other cities, we take care of our own here. Charging an old lady on Social Security for a leak past the meter that she didn’t even know she had – forcing a choice between having water and eating dog food – may play well in the city they came from, but this is Montesano…..we don’t do that here. It will be interesting to see if the residents roll over and take this one.
This past nine months the city has discovered that our employees were basically doing whatever they wanted with whatever they wanted. We, the taxpayers, of course, left to pick up the bill. Thousands and thousands and thousands of city employee hours spent watching videos, porn, and more. On the computers we paid for. As a visual reminder, every time you drive over one of the thousands of potholes that are the city streets of Montesano, just think about the wasted employee time that could have been spent …..more productively.
I could go on but space demands that I start wrapping this up.
The Montesano city council has enjoyed operating in the dark for so long that any threat to business as usual upsets the plush cart they have built for themselves.
Speaking only for myself here, I would love to spend more time relating happy little things. The problem is …..they won’t let me.
While indeed this site and our local newspaper has devoted a substantial amount of ink, both exposing and informing on the goings on that affect us all, the alternative is frankly frightening.
To piggy back on the advise that outgoing Councilman Doug Streeter imparted, I might suggest remembering that the average citizen here in town can’t afford the vision of latte café lined streets and back room deals that have been exposed.
Stop giving away our land, take care of our city forest, supervise your employees instead of treating them like a voting block, respect the citizens and their property values ……and taxes – and there wouldn’t be any dirty laundry to hide.