Letters: Council actions unbelievable — Why does St. Clair hide his connection? — Disclose columnist’s campaign connection

Three letters to the editor this week; One concerning the City Council's moves to impose a moratorium (with or without the public's approval); and two about disclosing Reporter columnist Scott St. Clair's affiliations and/or political leanings.

Council actions unbelievable

I have been watching with great interest the whirlwind surrounding the recent decisions relative to annexation and downtown development. As a 20-year resident of Juanita (the last area to be annexed by the city), I am appalled at the level of self-interest on the part of the majority of this council. In addition, it is extremely disconcerting to see how we are now governing on the whims of a few, rather than a vision of an entire city and its future.

It is astounding to me that a group such as CIVIK, representing perhaps 1-3 percent of the total population of our city are allowed to “hijack” projects and processes that will affect us for years to come. Last time I checked, the council was elected to represent all of the city, (not just Rose Hill and downtown) and its welfare. I am continually amazed at recent transcripts of council meetings and the resulting votes, that favor the wealthy condominium owners who have money to hire lawyers.

In particular, the recent petition that was sent regarding a moratorium on building downtown and the council’s actions in regard to it are unbelievable! If the petition had been citywide, maybe, I could see you entertaining such a request. However, it is obvious, once again that this council is intent to govern for those who yell the loudest, rather than having the gumption to stand up for what is right and in the best interests of the city.

Unfortunately, the council’s recent actions lead me to the conclusion that you do not represent me, my neighborhood or our city. Council members have not supported business owners that have been crying for years for assistance and then they bemoan the fact that there is no business downtown, and that those that are marginally surviving may soon go out of business.

You say you encourage development, but even reasonable, well-thought out (and if I may say, that which meets all criteria for code and then some!) development is rejected on your ridiculous technicalities.

The council tabled annexation at the request of a minority of Kirkland residents, particularly those for whom annexation would have little impact, instead of going to those who would actually be annexed, and given them the majority weight in any decision. the council, in essence, rejected financial assistance toward a goal of annexation that had been brokered for us by our state representatives, in order to please its political base.

Rather than a city government that we can be proud of, the council has reduced us to a laughing stock and unable to have any influence regionally, due to the way it is doing business. It is unfortunate and discouraging to witness, and feel as though one is powerless to change it. This is true not only to me, but to most others I talk to in my circle.

I will be watching as the council engages the budget process this fall to see just how it can make sense of our budget shortfall, especially since members are now responsible for the loss of potential revenue through development.

As I know all of the members, I trust they will understand that my concern for the city and its well-being is deep. I and many others are distressed at that state of things downtown. I know that each of the council has the same deep conviction and love for Kirkland, and I implore them to examine carefully the direction they have taken and seriously reconsider.

I will look forward to their progress, but rest assured, if things don’t change, the people of Kirkland will speak with their votes in the next council election.

Marianna Hanefeld

Kirkland

Why does St. Clair hide his connection?

I’m one of over a hundred volunteers dedicating free time to help re-elect Roger Goodman for state representative, so you can imagine my amazement when I read Scott St. Clair’s column in The Kirkland Reporter’s Aug. 27 paper.

Roger listens to voters all over the district as he introduces himself at their doorstep, six days a week, about 40 hours each wee. So I’m amused at Mr. St. Clair’s bizarre idea that the Goodman campaign, volunteers like me, and Roger himself are not working amazingly hard for Roger’s re-election.

Knocking on doors – rain or shine – takes dedication. Volunteers wouldn’t be committed to volunteering if we didn’t know Roger was dedicated. We also see the sacrifices that both he and his family are making in order to serve the community.

The last time I was at campaign headquarters, I asked Roger’s campaign manager, Tom Conlon, what he knew about Scott St. Clair. Apparently, Mr. St. Claire is not only a neighbor of Roger’s opponent, but also he is under contract with the 501(c)(3) Evergreen Freedom Foundation (organizations with this classification are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to influence elections to public office), has endorsed Roger’s opponent in 2004, 2006, and 2008 and has donated funds to Roger’s opponents in past campaigns.

The Reporter should have an editorial policy that requires writers to identify their affiliation, and in cases where they are writing about an active election campaign, they should identify themselves when they have already endorsed one of the candidates in the race they are writing about.

It’s only fair to the reader to know the truth about the authors of articles that the paper prints. I’m not hiding my affiliation, why should Mr. St. Claire hide his? After all, that would be the ethical thing to do.

Karen Anderson

Kirkland

Disclose columnist’s campaign connection

I just saw last week’s article by Scott St. Clair. Are you publishing his accusations and rumors without bothering to do any fact-checking? That is so disappointing.

Kirkland is a lovely, well-educated community that deserves so much better. At minimum, you – and he – should have disclosed that he is a friend and campaign contributor to Toby Nixon. Full disclosure: I’m a friend and campaign volunteer and contributor to Roger Goodman.

(Ed. note: Rep. Goodman visited our office and confirmed meeting with PDC officials. He characterized the actions described by Mr. St. Clair’s as an “oversight” and said he was not fined. Goodman was fined $100 by the PDC in 2007 for not filing a form disclosing personal finances.)

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