We are writing in response to recent events regarding the Enumclaw City Council as reported in The Courier-Herald. We are also responding to Mary Ballard’s letter to the editor (March 26).
Since none of us were present at the meeting it would seem logical to assess the situation from facts. They are easy to come by if you do your homework and think independently. Before bombasting any councilperson we must look at the issue that brought up the controversy. Every resident in Enumclaw is legitimately concerned with gas prices and how it affects their personal economic well-being. It was found that sharing a gas line with the city of Buckley (sharing meaning Buckley leased from Enumclaw) has not returned revenues to the city of Enumclaw that is called for.
Buckley is selling their gas company to PSE…crucial word here is “selling.” It is their right. However, if Enumclaw is owed monies that might offset residents’ gas bills...tabling a vote for 30 days to further research the matter seems just.
Both the council and the mayor are voted in by the people. You can call the mayor a “captain,” a “ceo”…whatever you like. The mayor picks a city administrator and has a staff – one of which is the city attorney. The mayor does not make law; however, the mayor can give recommendations to the council through her staff but only votes on issues if there is a tie. Voters put a lot of trust in the council and they are individuals who think individually – do we want such “team players” that every time a vote comes up…they rubber-stamp the will of the mayor?
The council is not an executive management team – they are voted in to office independently to bring their own expertise and knowledge to the council and the body that votes on all matters before them.
In particular, Councilman Dickson found a discrepancy in the monetary contractual obligation to the city of Enumclaw from the city of Buckley. Why it was not found sooner, who knows? Why some may want to ignore it or “forgive”a possible debt, who knows? It has been proven that Councilman Dickson did nothing wrong. He researched the finding….he did not represent himself to be speaking for the council. City Attorney Mike Reynolds clearly stated this in his apology to Councilman Dickson. You might notice Mayor Reynolds has not apologized for her emotional and incorrect statements to Councilman Dickson.
Ballard’s cheap shot as to other councilpersons not knowing nor understanding issues is disrespectful…much like what the code of conduct is really all about.
We believe these councilpersons have enough business background to read profit and loss statements, budgets, financials…pursuing avenues to correct wrongs and lower the taxpayers’ burden. It is reassuring to have a council that has independent thoughts and bring possible resolutions to the table in hopes of building a consensus.
The code of conduct was brought up to allow for spirited discussion but to respect each other and not let emotion rule their comments and accusations that have been proven false.
Ballard’s letter goes back and forth between making Dickson and other councilpersons not “team players” but on the other hand… they should “think independently.” Which is it? We believe the voters of Enumclaw vote for individuals who can think for themselves, bring tough questions to the table and sometimes do cause constructive controversy. In this case, if the city of Enumclaw is owed back revenues from leased gas lines, it should be pursued.
Councilmen Dickson was issued an apology by City Attorney Reynolds. You will notice no such apology came from the mayor. It is a proven fact from the governmental agency involved that he did no wrong. We don’t come from Chicago as Ballard does but it is our experience that whenever someone brings up issues that put a different light on a matter or ask questions that might uncover possible discrepancies that have not been found in any political arena, the person is labeled as causing unrest. The only “fractionation” occurring here is due to caring about the city of Enumclaw and asking hard questions that make the council think and look at issues in a different light.
The people of Enumclaw should applaud Councilman Dickson’s initiative in finding the gas line revenue discrepancy and ask questions of their own. It will not be pursued if the people do not take part.
Judi Puttman, Christopher Bock DPM, Samuel Cargill M.D., Daniel Clerc M.D., Brian Hiller PA-C, Dennis Mauricio M.D., James Merrill M.D., Jeffrey Rose M.D., Jude Verzosa M.D., Tanya Wilke M.D.