Why is there a rift between council, mayor?

I’d like to respond to the letter from Myron Whalen (Courier-Herald, Sept. 23). Since he so eloquently stated that these letters are about opinions I’ll take this opportunity to share mine as well.

Mr. Whalen starts off by setting up a traditional red herring, defined by Webster’s as “a deliberate attempt to change a subject or divert an argument,” by stating that “politicians….try to get votes by demonizing their opponents on differing issues” and goes on to glorify John Wise because he doesn’t practice this method of campaigning even though he has been “brutally criticized” by “them” on many issues. Here is my problem with this argument.

If we were to follow this logic we should all just sit down and keep our mouths shut. If we don’t like the way our government is being run the polite thing would be to just say nothing. Heck, the worst thing we should do is have the audacity to hold our elected officials accountable to their records.

It is my opinion that elections are the opportunity to educate the voters about the differences between candidates and provides a chance to hold them accountable for their actions. I believe it is the responsibility of each voter to determine all the facts that are out there, particularly when the facts are having such a direct impact on our lives. Folks, there are a lot of issues to be concerned about.

I am sorry if the facts don’t work out in John’s favor. I know John; I enjoy having conversations with John. I don’t question that he works hard and cares for our city. It is my often-stated belief that every single elected official in our town is a saint. They all work hard and essentially volunteer their time so we on the sidelines can take them for granted and snipe at the decisions they have made on our behalf.

What I do have a problem with is that at no point in the history of Enumclaw can I recall there ever being such a rift between our City Council and the mayor’s office. At a time when we are suffering the worst economic disaster since the Depression we have the two branches of our local government dealing from a place of absolute distrust.

The question is why.

Why does the council not trust the information that they are given? What would make them feel that way?

As a business owner in town I ask a few other questions.

Why are we continuing down a branding path that hardly anyone I have spoken with, that lives in the city, thinks is a good idea?

Why are we spending city resources on logos and an equestrian plan against the advice of the people we hired to tell us whether or not it was feasible?

Why do we honestly believe that someone is going to just give us $32 million to build an equestrian center?

Why would we believe it would only cost $32 million?

The sewage treatment plant was only going to be $8 million when it started and we are closer to $34 million.

Having a fantasy and having a vision are two different things. I personally think this is a fantasy.

There is an election going on and two sides are trying to make their points and both sides have Web pages full of information. I’ll even do a public service and give you each address. Liz Reynolds’ site is www.lizlistens.com and John Wise’s site is www.wiseformayor.com.

Here is what I know to be true. Of the eight potential incoming City Council people six of them have endorsed Liz Reynolds for mayor and not one has endorsed John Wise. Again I encourage you to ask a simple question: Why?

This is not a race based on political parties. It is a nonpartisan position. The issues facing our town are nowhere to be found on either party platform. So again, why would almost everyone coming into office prefer one candidate over another? I suggest you ask them.

I believe the time has come for our city government to start working together as a team. I think the council has chosen the person they think will be most able to restore the trust, integrity and transparency to the partnership between city administration and the council. I am hoping they are able to get back to working on the real issues that are facing our town and can leave the trust issues behind.

I hope you will take the time to get the facts and not let yourself be caught up in the campaign tactic that says; whenever your opponent points out a part of your record you aren’t proud of just throw up a scarlet “negative campaigning” flag and try changing the subject. I think this tactic has run its course.

Charles Bender


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