Citizens should be in charge of Bonney Lake­­­ | Letters to the Editor

I wish to thank Mr. Jacobsen and his friends George and Mr. Doll for supporting what isn’t broke in this city. I also enjoy their thoughts on what is right with the city – What are they?

Let me see, we voted twice during the past administration for a city manager form of government which the council backed twice. In fact, the first time the council was behind the process. The second time Mr. Decker got a petition going and a few of the council members were behind this process. The citizens said “no” to the city manager form of government.

When Mayor Johnson got in office the deputy mayor made sure that the present-day city administrator was hired; thus was born the city manager form of government. After all this man lives and travels to be with the ICMA. Doesn’t matter what it costs the citizens and Mayor Johnson and the council allow him to do so. Why? He is the city manager.

Councilmember Carter e-mails him constantly to find out whatever she needs to know. Remember when she used to do her own research? She still does, but she needs the “pat on the back” from the city administrator (a.k.a. city manager) to do what she is about to do. I’ve noticed that many of the council members depend totally on this person’s advice.

In the council-mayor form of government the council usually goes to the city clerk for information and help, but not in Johnson’s new form of government that Mr. Jacobsen, George and Mr. Doll admire.

In our city, under Mayor Johnson, the city clerk is too busy taking care of HR as well as IT to get public disclosures out to the people that have requested them. The mayor has authorized a $7,400 machine (a.k.a. the QED machine) to handle the many e-mails that Quinn Dahlstrom requests a year, yet the public disclosures get further and further behind because there are either not enough people in the city clerk’s office or the machine broke down. I know before the machine was ever thought of, the public disclosures came out on a regular basis just as they should. Perhaps this is the reason why the council also must go to their city manager for information.

Now I really would like to see the citizens in charge of their city. That would be nice and we all know that voting doesn’t give us the people who we want in office – found that out recently in the Pierce County election. However Mr. Jacobsen seems to believe that voting is the cure all for everything; wish it was that easy, sir, but voting doesn’t mean that one gets what they wish for.

I would greatly prefer a city where citizens get to vote on issues like the interim justice center for what I believe was $10 million that we the citizens have to pay, or the $6 million for the Moriarty Park that hasn’t been transformed into anything but a parking lot, or the $1.2 million of property on 192nd and Old Buckley Highway. In fact, I would like to know about all the lawsuits against this city which are many and are in the millions of dollars. Who is going to pay for those? We don’t seem to win many lawsuits these days.

Mr. Jacobsen infers that the city administrator was wrong in his statement to the paper in that our city is just as much in need of money as any other city in this economical time. For once Mr. Jacobsen has found some sense in his allegations toward anyone that disagrees with him. I appreciate hearing that his only concerns just aren’t about the fluff (parks, sidewalks, trails, swimming pools).

To answer George and Mr. Doll, what is broke is that the mayor of this city isn’t the mayor; the city administrator is running the city. This my friends is the city manager form of government that the council backed twice and the voters once again lost even though they voted “no.”

Quinn E. Dahlstrom

Bonney Lake

Promoting

In response to “Consultants hired in fire chief search” article of Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008, written by Dennis Box.

A job is just a job when there is no upward mobility. When there is upward mobility a job changes to a career. Succession planning is a natural component of any business. It seems that this is not the case with East Pierce Fire and Rescue. There is a perfectly qualified candidate already on staff that is acting as “interim” chief.

John McDonald has been a dedicated member of the East Pierce Fire and Rescue team for many years. He has developed relationships with the East Pierce team as well as many of us in the Bonney Lake community. When the Fire District No. 22 board voted to hire a consulting firm to search for a new East Pierce fire chief, they sent a message to all employees of East Pierce Fire and Rescue that they have a job and not a career. The possibility of upward mobility is a great motivator to keep qualified people on board.

We do not need a consulting firm based in Oregon to spend $10,000 of our tax dollars to search for someone we already have. John McDonald is the logical choice for our next fire chief. The loss of Dan Packer shows the lengths to which these professionals will go to protect us. Please fire this consulting firm before they get too deep into the process. Promote John McDonald to chief.

Jim Hildebrand

Bonney Lake