Disappointed with city’s business decision | Letters to the Editor

If you are a business owner in Enumclaw and a vendor for the city of Enumclaw and its current mayor, for over 30 years, to find out (after the fact) that you are summarily dismissed without notice – how would you feel? If you are a resident who has enjoyed the flower baskets created by GE&B Nursery adorning our city streets during the summer months, you need to know that those baskets will now be supplied by a Sumner vendor.

Here are the facts behind this (lack of a better word) “firing” –  without verbal and/or written notice – of a business celebrating its 50th anniversary in Enumclaw and going outside of 98022  – so much for 98022 Shop Local.

• A pattern was established over the years, a good faith understanding as the city never formally put it in writing, to ensure the baskets were on schedule and up by May 22nd each year.  GE&B ordered and received all the flowers for 70 plus baskets.  GE&B also stored free of charge the city’s baskets since the 80s.

• Ellen Fant Horton, owner, received one phone call from a city employee at the beginning of March. This was a very informal conversation wherein he asked about the possibility of some additional baskets, informed Ellen Horton that the mayor and city were not happy with last year’s baskets, maybe changing to mixed petunia baskets like Buckley. This was the  extent of the  conversation.

• Ellen told the city, as an example, the price of additional larger wooden baskets would be higher, maybe $95 plus.  For your information, the usual sized baskets were $65.  It was never conveyed that the city was unhappy in 2014. Ellen commented that up to 2014, during higher temperatures, the baskets were watered twice daily wherein last year only once.

• GE&B never heard from the city again, not a word.  This informal discussion never turned in to a detailed request for additional options as to type of basket, size, content and pricing. Ellen never received a request for bid verbally or by quote form.

• GE&B then heard a rumor that a Sumner business had the order. Now Ellen is stuck with all those extra flowers and continues to store the city’s baskets.

• Here is the kicker, the Sumner business was given the order on Feb. 27, days before GE&B received the one and only call from the city.

Thirty-four Enumclaw citizens wrote an email to the mayor expressing their disappointment and dismay as to the events explained above. The mayor’s reply email on April 28th does not coincide with the substantiated facts stated above.

You might say my relationship with Ellen Fant Horton, husband Gary and son Ridge is somewhat emotional.  We went through school together, our families come from Krain and that is where she chose to open and maintain her business. It is her roots and her livelihood. However, from a business standpoint I am dismayed at the mayor’s decision. Here is a well-established business of 50 years which has and continues to pay taxes, support schools, donate generously to charitable pursuits. Don’t we want to utilize and support those types of businesses within 98022?

Please show GE&B your support now, stop by and wish them a happy 50th and maybe purchase some of those extra flowers they have on hand. Thanks to no fault of their own.

Judi Puttman

Enumclaw