Writer doubts councilman’s conduct give voters a larger voice charter that has no plans undo what already works group instead of one person keep his nose to himself dedicated village parents ignored at meeting

A few months ago, after the last local election, I submitted a letter to the editor offering my observations on the conduct of one of the newly elected City Council members, Dan Decker. As I have no personal knowledge of Mr. Decker, I limited my comments to my observations of his conduct during City Council meetings.

Letters to the Editor

A few months ago, after the last local election, I submitted a letter to the editor offering my observations on the conduct of one of the newly elected City Council members, Dan Decker. As I have no personal knowledge of Mr. Decker, I limited my comments to my observations of his conduct during City Council meetings.

He appeared always to be angry, confrontational, disrespectful, and even irrational. Being relatively new to Bonney Lake, I was not at the time aware of Decker’s history in the area. I expressed surprise that voters in Ward 5 would choose him to be their representative. And, as I feared, as soon as he took his position on the council, he continued that same form of behavior, and sufficiently disrupted and elongated the meetings that it was difficult for other residents and business owners to participate.

It was so bad that the council had to review and formalize new rules of conduct just to attempt to bring Mr. Decker’s antics and tactics under control. Personally, I feel no animosity toward Councilman Decker, but, along with others, was not pleased to witness his undermining the good work that the council had been doing. Subsequently, I have heard from one individual from Ward 3 who thinks Decker is the only one who is doing a good job, and I am sure there are a few others who are disgruntled.

While on a trip out of the country this month, I was forwarded a copy of a Jan. 7 letter to the editor from Councilman Decker, where he launched a personal attack on me and several other hard-working volunteers who have made significant positive contributions over the years to the city.

Fortunately, in subsequent issues of the paper, a number of others scolded him for his attacks. In his diatribe he indicated I had violated the law, which apparently was in reference to when I was the president of a Backcountry Horsemen chapter many years ago and we had to deal with a persistent trouble-maker.

In Decker’s mind I guess that constituted violating the law. And he referred to me as “poor old George Brown” and even tried to look me up in state records to discover what business I own. He closed with “shame on you.”

I’m told Decker has a history of irrational behavior, but I will leave it up to those he represents to decide whether he is a credit to Ward 5, or if they should re-think their support of him. My concern is that this was not just a personal attack, as he signed the letter as a city council member of Bonney Lake. Maybe I am naïve, but I expect more mature and rational behavior from our elected representatives. Don’t you? It isn’t comforting to know that this council member is in a position to make decisions that affect the lives and livelihood of me and my family and the good of the community.

George Brown

Bonney Lake

Charter would

Editor’s note: This letter refers the article titled “Proposition brings out the heat” published in the Jan. 21 edition of The Courier-Herald.

After reading your article (heat) it makes me wonder why people would put their names on a ballot for a political position they are against. (What kind of agenda is this?)

A charter would give the voters a much larger voice in city government. A lot of voters are unhappy with the three-story duplexes springing up all over the city. This would change if the voters had a voice in the form of a charter.

Mike J. Cesaran

Bonney Lake

Beware of

The charter should come with a “Buyer Beware” label. You don’t know what you’re getting into.

Funny thing. I’ve researched other charter elections. Except for Bonney Lake, all the others had a goal. Kelso’s was to close a strip club. Bellevue was to change the election of the mayor, and so on. What have we heard about the Bonney Lake charter?

At Thursday’s debate Dan Decker was asked what the charter would have in it. What I heard of his reply was that nothing has been written or planned, to do so was illegal and so on.

Pardon me for having a lick of common sense. Given something we wanted, wouldn’t any of us have thought and talked and written about what we’d do? Wouldn’t we have a version of what we wanted it to have? Being vague is an advantage for the charter supporters. People can see what they want to in the charter and believe it will happen.

Think of this charter as a guy that wants to build you a house. He tells you it will be wonderful.

Ask him: “How many bedrooms?” and you get told about how nice the house will be, how it will wrap around you, etc.

Ask him “How many bathrooms?” and you’ll get comparisons to the White House, Mount Vernon, Frank Lloyd Wright.

By now you’re frustrated so you ask “What color will the house be?” In reply you get complaints about how the other builders are bad, they have cost overruns. You get the picture.

Would you pay him to build a house when you have no idea if it would even be livable?

Would you vote for the charter when you have no idea what will be in it?

Grant Sulham

Bonney Lake

Charter would

I am voting no on the charter change. As a former council member and a citizen, I have experienced first hand how our city government functions. While no system, even democracy, is perfect, it works! Rest assured that your constitutional rights are well intact. The city is run well by department professionals and a mayor and council, along with all citizens’ voices and ideas wrapped into a proven process. The pro-charter side has not been to articulate any real benefits for this proposed costly change.

This is an attempt by a small disgruntled group, led by Dan Decker, to overthrow a city government that has been in place since 1949. Please do not be fooled by a secret agenda, which is basically a power grab, by a handful of individuals who do not have the city’s or citizen’s interests at heart. Vote no! Bonney Lake works for all of us!

Cheryle Noble

Bonney Lake

City is run by

Enough already, regarding Dan Decker’s letter of Jan. 7. It is evident that Mr. Decker does not understand or like his position on the Bonney Lake City Council. After attending several council meetings, reading his mindless rants to the editor and stories written about his behavior at council meetings I finally am compelled to respond.

To answer his latest question, does the city have debt? Yes, it is called bonds. In order to build infrastructure such as water mains, sewer mains, parks and roads the city sells bonds to pay for them. The city then takes several years to pay for these improvements. Bonney Lake has the highest credit rating available for these bonds due to good fiscal management.

It is a state law that cities have a balanced budget. I do not think citizens would like their property taxes or utility rates if these capital projects were paid for with general fund dollars. There is no conspiracy to keep information from Mr. Decker. We may all go online to the Bonney Lake Web site and view the budget, which includes bond payments.

With the election of Neil Johnson as mayor, he and the council have fixed many problems from the past with communication and information availability. The city is not broken and is heading in the right direction. I disagree with Mr. Decker’s proposition that we change the form of government in the city. By the way this is the second time he has tried to change things. A few years ago Mr. Decker tried to change our city to a council-manager form of government. This idea went down in flames at the polls. How much money has Mr. Decker cost our city with his antics and special elections.

I think it is time for Mr. Decker to step down. This would allow someone who knows how to work with a team to continue the great work the mayor and council are doing. Otherwise it might be time for a group to form and start the recall process. Mr. Decker needs to remember that he is part of a group that governs and he is not the sole person in charge.

In closing I am tired of Mr. Decker dragging honorable people though the mud of the printed media. He needs to remember the old adage, “people in glass houses should not throw stones.”

Stephen Bricker

Former Bonney Lake city council member

Bonney Lake

Bush will

President Bush just gave his final press conference to the D.C. press corps this week. It was a memorable press conference. I am glad that he did not call on that old, close-minded liberal bitty, Helen Thomas, the N.Y. Times reporter. My God, when is she and her old tired ethics going to retire? But I digress.

The one comment that really stuck out in my mind during this press conference was the fact he said he was going back to Crawford, Texas, and the first day that he wakes up he will make Laura coffee. How refreshing. Being 42 years old gives me some perspective and experience about how former presidents act. I have always heard the unwritten rule is that former presidents don’t interfere with their successors. That seemed to be the case with Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. They all retired, did good work for humankind and lived their life. Then, came along Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. They grabbed that unwritten rule and stomped it into the ground, then urinated on it. The former being all Republicans, the latter being Democrats. A coincidence? I don’t know, you be the judge.

Bill Clinton started the incredibly un-American policy of undermining a current sitting president. It is understandable that Bill Clinton would do that. He is incredibly narcisistic and loves the spotlight. It is pathological, not political, with Bill Clinton. He is happy with a camera in his face and means no malice, by undermining a currently sitting president. Bill Clinton is shallow and when he isn’t looking for cameras, he is angling for people to like him, especially those that give him money or other benefits.

Jimmy Carter is different. Jimmy Carter was president during one of the worst economic times of this country (yes, much, much worse than what we are going through now). He gutted the military and allowed Americans to be taken hostage in Iran. He gave up the Panama Canal. He imposed a “windfall profit tax” on the oil companies which caused long lines at gas stations. He told us to turn our home heaters down to 65 and wear sweaters to keep warm because he had no vision when it came to energy policy. There was 12 percent unemployment and the interest rates were out of this universe. He is one of the worse presidents of all time. He had no clue on economics, military, taxation, energy policy and foreign policy. It took Ronald Reagan and the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to bring pride back to this country.

He is also one of the worst ex-presidents of all time. For the past eight years, he tried to do an incredible amount of damage to the Bush presidency (and the United States). He hob-knobbed with foreign dictators and despots. He has taken every opportunity to criticize President Bush and the United States whenever cameras appeared. He was part of the “shadow government,” except there was nothing “shadow” about it. Bill Clinton’s reasoning is narcisism. Jimmy Carter’s excuse? I would call it evil. Because only an evil person would do what Jimmy Carter has done over the past eight years to try to undermine President Bush (hence, hurting this country).

A young man named Travis wrote a letter to the editor a short time ago wondering why anyone would vote Republican. Well, Travis, this is just one of the many reasons why I would not vote for a Democrat (Chris Hurst excluded.) And, this is why I believe liberalism is a mental disorder.

I have a prediction. When President Bush says he is going to retire in Crawford, I believe him. He will not mug for cameras criticizing President Obama’s policies in an effort to make President Obama look bad. He is a good American, husband and family man and isn’t egocentric and narcisistic like Bill Clinton or evil like Jimmy Carter. This country can only hope for presidents like the aforementioned Republicans. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are not uniters of this country, they are dividers. President Obama has a better chance of uniting this country when Democrats love this country more than they hate President George Bush.

J. Buss


School is a

“I wish it didn’t snow.”

I blinked in surprise at the bitterness in my sweet 7-year-old’s voice. She loves the snow. Why wasn’t she pinging with delight?

“You wish it didn’t snow? Why?” I asked.

“Because now I can’t go to school.”

As a child, I despised school with an intensity that was incongruent with my age. A snow day was a blessed reprieve from my compulsory education. I prayed for a snow day. I know that my daughter doesn’t feel the same, but to hear her respond to the school cancellation with such disdain was unfathomable.

When Emmaline turned 5 years old, I viewed the approaching school year with dread. As her mother, it was natural for me to want to protect her from the misery that I was certain she would feel. I considered home schooling, but, as an only child, I wanted her to have the opportunity to be with other children. The kindergarten or! ientati on at Wickersham School of Discovery loomed over my head like a black cloud of doom.

When we walked in to Mrs. Jewell’s classroom, my skepticism wavered. This was such a happy place! The room was warm, friendly and inviting, the children seemed glad to be there, the parents were so supportive. My daughter’s admiration for her teacher made my eyes sting. I was quickly swept up in a whirlwind of activity; my strengths were identified and put to work. I put in more hours at school than I do at my job and found that I could make a difference.

Emmaline is in first grade now, with the marvelous Mrs. Fitz. The environment here is positive, nurturing and familial. The staff works together to shape a cohesive education for each student. The parent involvement here is unparalleled. The PTA is passionate and highly effective. The idea that the White River School District would throw away such an obvious asset is criminal.

It takes a village to raise a child.

I’ve never been in the presence of a more dedicated village than the one at Wickersham School of Discovery. I urge you to recognize the value of the effort being made there and support the future of the school.

Evangelynn Lenz

Wickersham parent and volunteer


Concerns of

There have been many rumors circulating about the upcoming White River School District budget cuts. The most discussed and rumored about have been the closure of Wickersham School of Discovery and the relocation of Collins Alternative School to the Wickersham campus.

First I would like to thank Mr. Lockyer (W.R. superintendent) and Denise Vogel (W.R. school board president) for attending the WSOD meeting specifically called to address our concerns. To a packed room Mr. Lockyer delivered his canned budget speech. Despite the heartfelt testimonies of parents, staff, previous students and concerned community members he didn’t address the issue at hand, the closing of WSOD. He refused. He chastised us like children, stating that “he wouldn’t choose one school over the other.” I raised my hand to state that this wasn’t what we were asking for, we only wanted to bring light to what Wickersham is; needless to say he didn’t acknowledge me. This was a disappointing statement made by the one person who truly needed to understand our school. He turned WSOD’s pride at being a truly exceptional learning community/family into an issue of vanity. He didn’t address the ideas presented for keeping WSOD open; one can only assume that he didn’t value our ideas for any amount of consideration. Furthermore, he went on to say that (as far as curriculum) that the “other WR schools were getting there.” I have to say that WSOD is “there.”

We know that Mr. Lockyer has been less than forthcoming with the facts and this has made the rumor mill flourish. We as parents, taxpayers and citizens of Buckley (every student will be affected by his decisions/recommendations) have the right to know what is happening. On Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at the White River administrative board room Mr. Lockyear is making his official budget recommendations to the school board. This is public meeting and although it has been made clear that we won’t have the opportunity to ask questions or comment on his recommendations I believe that we should all hear for ourselves what he has to say; with the facts we can move forward as a community to protect all of our schools.

Stephanie O’Mary

Bonney Lake

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