Use election to rid BD of negative influence

Black Diamond residents, we are once again in the local election season and I’m writing to urge you to join me in voting for Erin Rose Stout for Black Diamond City Council, Position 4, in the primary election (Election Day deadline, Aug. 1).

It’s time to break the negative influences on our elections and city government by Brian Derdowski and Kristen Bryant. These two outsiders from Bellevue have played a large role in the chaos in today’s city government. They have influenced the future of our city for their own self interests.

In the 2013 election, Derdowski and Bryant backed Dave Gordon for mayor. His win was an expensive loss for Black Diamond residents – costing us $250,000 due to his poor decisions (verified by B.D.’s finance director). Once elected, Gordon fired the city manager, paying out thousands in severance pay. He then hired a new city manager who slapped him with a sexual harassment lawsuit costing thousands more. After making a mess of things, he left office after only 11 months with no explanation. But Derdowski and Bryant don’t care – it’s not their money.

Derdowski and Bryant also supported the election of the current council majority who have embarrassed our city and wasted many more thousands of dollars. Erica Morgan, Patricia Pepper and Brian Weber are each facing a lawsuit for breaking the Open Public Meetings Act laws. And Pepper is currently being recalled for breaking laws that have been harmful to the city and its citizens (see for more information).

The chaos that comes to Black Diamond City Hall when Derdowski and Bryant’s candidates get elected needs to stop. Their plan to “reform city hall” looks more like: seize power, delay decisions, ignore city staff and stick it to the B.D. taxpayers.

If Ed Hanrahan gets elected this misuse of power is sure to continue. Hanrahan was prodded by Derdowski to run for council, but he can’t possibly know the depth of our city’s issues or the role of a councilmember as I’ve never seen him at a city council meeting. I’m concerned he’s going to continue the Derdowski legacy of wasting taxpayers’ dollars.

I know Erin Rose Stout is the best person to be our next city councilmember. Erin has been attending council meeting ever since the budget crises started last December. She’s familiar with issues facing the city and she’s already met with city staff to learn more about the issues. Erin’s comments at council meetings are always calm and insightful; and she’s expressed a strong interest in seeing that taxpayer’s dollars are spent wisely.

Join me in helping return an independent voice to Black Diamond City Council by voting for a longtime resident who cares about the future of Black Diamond. Vote for Erin Rose Stout before Aug. 1.

Leslie Cooley

Black Diamond