Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No Need to Send in the Clowns - They're Already Here

Thanks to a poster for the following account of the City Council meeting from last night. It's dysfunctional and insane, but, for a Port Angeles City Council meeting, not out of the ordinary...
City Council was a circus this evening.

After an emotional back-and-forth over a request by Cherie Kidd to go by herself and find funding for suicide barriers for the 8th Street bridges, and after spending another $1.16 million on the waterfront project, she later said " The community should be excited with what we're giving them. This is a great day for Port Angeles."

They also passed an ordinance to allow them to take tens of thousands (might have been hundreds of thousands, they sure were not clear on the total numbers!) out of reserves for a stormwater and sewer project on Georgiana. When asked, staff admitted this was not planned for, and might have benefits for future developments in the area.

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago they invited the public to chose which social services they wanted cut, because the city didn't have enough money for programs like domestic violence assistance? 
Pennywise and pound foolish...

There was also an "emergency" request for funding to replace the cooling system for the Pen Com system, which apparently broke. How much? "I don't know" replied city staff. How long to get repairs lined up? 60 to 90 days. Or more. They asked for a waiver of the competitive bidding process, too.

When asked for more details, little was available, guessing at the size of the room, and such. "We're trying to be proactive." Hmmm. What does that mean? Is it really an emergency, or another "creative" way to get things done?

Oh, the meeting started with a proclamation given to Revitalize group, proclaiming May "Beautify Port Angeles Month".

Somebody got up during public comment to say having a huge oil derrick in the harbor didn't do much for beautifying Port Angeles, and that drilling for oil in the Arctic wasn't very beautiful, either.
The Clallam County jobless rate dropped from a revised 9.9 percent in February to a preliminary 8.3 percent in March, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.
Jobless rates do not factor those who are underemployed, commute to other counties or have quit looking for work.
According to the March report, Clallam County had 220 more employed citizens — from 24,810 in February to 25,030 in March — while the size of its workforce shrank by 240 to 27,300.
Statewide unemployment dipped from 6.3 percent to 5.9 percent last month, while seasonally adjusted national unemployment remained at 5.5 percent.
If the workforce shrank more than it grew...Did it really grow? Or did more people just go?


  1. You got the "dysfunctional" and "insane" right, but you really should have included "hypocritical. Pleading poverty and then turning around and spending tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on non-essential, non-existent "emergencies" is certainly hypocritical, as well as cynical.

    In other words, there are no other words expect negative ones to describe our city government.

  2. First: Brief though this is, it's a pretty fair report of a City Council meeting. It certainly captures the tone and decision-making process better than the PDN does.

    Second: It also captures exactly how easy it is for staff to manipulate members of the Council around by the nose. It doesn't matter that there are no breakdowns of the votes taken, or whether or not any individual Council members objected to or voted against something. No, what's important is the dynamic of staff proposing and, one way or another, the Council acquiescing to their requests. Has a staff proposal ever been outright turned down? I can't remember it happening.

    Third: This also shows how readily and obviously the city lies to the citizens here. As is pointed out, a plea of poverty has been rather suddenly followed by huge, unanticipated expenditures. Hmmm...That money is coming from somewhere. Someone is having their agenda advanced, and it sure doesn't seem to be the fools who are supposed in charge.

    Fourth: This also shows once again the chicken or the egg problem here. Bad, lazy and crooked City Council members enable staff's bad, lazy and crooked behavior. So we not only need to elect better City Council members, but they also have to get rid of the current City Manager, and replace him with someone who will replace bad staff members with competent ones. Without changing every point in the Council-Manager-Staff system, we're not going to see any meaningful change.

  3. Cherie Kidd said: "The community should be excited with what we're giving them."

    Note to Cherie Kidd: Whatever you "give" us is paid for with OUR MONEY. Let me repeat that, in a different way: You're not giving us ANYTHING; because we're PAYING FOR IT. So is King County, and probably Pierce County, too. We get more money back from the state than we (in Clallam County) pay into it. So, again, Cherie, YOU'RE NOT GIVING US ANYTHING. Do you get that?

    All we expect to "get " from our local elected officials is some halfway informed/intelligent decision making. 95% of the time you utterly fail at that. When you speak in terms of "the people" (peons) being excited or grateful, it only shows how out of touch you are, how ego-driven you are, and how little you seem to understand the basic mechanics of the local economy and the city budget.

    ALL of these bozos - Kidd, Hallett, Chapman, etc. - need to stop TALKING SO MUCH, and try DOING SOMETHING. Deliver something to the people who live here other than a twenty cent tax "break" or a slightly harder way to kill yourself, and then maybe, just maybe, we can talk about what you've done.

    But right now, as is, you all have collectively done NOTHING, and given NOTHING, other than headaches and heartbreak.

    1. Ms. Kidd also argued that she was seeking the money for the suicide fences because it was about "public safety".

      After the all the talk, I took some time to look up some facts about suicide earlier today. Most suicides are committed by other means.

      Half are by firearms. 4% are by "Falls".

      So, all this effort to address a small fraction of the problem? Don't get me wrong, all those so desperate should be helped, regardless of how they want to end their lives. But, those so tortured will remain tortured until they get help. A fence only makes them look for other ways to find relief.

      Another aspect I don't think the Council Member who is running for re-election took into consideration. How much the Councils deliberations triggered already fragile people.

      So sad they are so blind.

    2. Anon 4:09 PM.

      You're right on the mark. By all means, let's have an extended, public conversation about how great the suicide "opportunities" are on 8th St. It's like PR from Hell.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid. If it had simply been done right the first time...There would be no need for trumpeting how easy it currently is to jump. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      "Port Angeles - The Center of (Ending) It All!"

  4. Yes, I attended Port Angeles city council last evening, as well. The previous writer neglected to mention that the Council appointed Orville Campbell as their interim representative on the "Economic Opportunity Board". Is there such a board?

    It really was a circus. Dale Wilson made a plea for the re-reinstatement of public access television. Last night's meeting would have been a great example of why this is a needed function.

    There were times when the Council Members didn't know what was going on, what motions were on the table, or what they were voting for. Ms. Kidd's motion was brought back after Council Member Whetham said he didn't realize Ms. Kidd's motion needed a unanimous vote. So, they stumbled around for awhile until one of the Staff said they would re-write the motion on the spot!

    Sad demonstration of how inept Port Angeles representatives really are.

    1. Don't blame Lee Whetham for being distracted. He was just thinking about all the money he's going to steal...I mean earn...being a Port Commissioner.

    2. Uh...Since anything the Council discusses or votes on has to be given public notice, I'm guessing that a hastily rewritten suicide ordinance (or whatever it was) would be, possibly, technically, illegal, since notice of that particular wording would not have been given.

      But hey! It's only Port Angeles, right? It's only other people's money, right? It's a great day for Port Angeles, right Cherie? I mean, you're only discussing suicide and half-baked, after the fact prevention tactics because things are SO great in Port Angeles.


    3. No, you are not correct. Under the Open Public Meetings Act, Regular Meetings can include discussion and decisions on items not on the published agenda, as long as they are done in open session, Special Meetings are restricted to dealing only with published agenda items.

  5. Those figures do make it look like more people moved away or retired than found jobs. None of that would surprise me one bit. And then there are all the people on the dole, and who've given up even looking for work here. So these numbers tell part of the sad story, but not all of it.

  6. When you are unemployed it is 100%. This statistic is measure of those who go thru state employment office, not the rest of us. As for georgiana street OMC has medical office project before planning commission tonight.

  7. But, Revitalize Port Angeles got recognized by the City! Isn't that just so wonderful? Leslie was smiling so proud.

    The sidewalks may still be empty, but everything is just swimmingly great in Port Angeles.

    The City, with Cherie Kidd and Nathan West so supportive of Revitalize Port Angeles, see the way to solve problems. It doesn't matter that the sidewalks are empty most of the time. That is because there wasn't a proclamation saying May is "Beautify Port Angeles Month." Which is what Revitalize Port Angeles group is being recognized for. Which is why the sidewalks are empty. Because the reason that the sidewalks are empty is because Revitalize Port Angeles has been beautifying Port Angeles. So Cherie Kidd and Nathan West want to see Revitalize Port Angeles get recognized for their great ideas and successes.

    Oh, brother.

    What does bring an economic blip to Port Angeles? The spectacle of a huge oil drilling rig.

    Hurry. Tell Leslie. And John Brewer. The salvation of Port Angeles is bringing in huge oil derricks. To hell with the cruise ships, park visitors or Coho passengers.

    What other obscene, earth destroying spectacle can Revitalize Port Angeles dream up, because they sure don't want to face the obvious. Sure, "Beautify Port Angeles", because THAT is why nobody is walking the sidewalks downtown, or patronizing their shops.

    1. In the beginning, I had hope for Revitalize Port Angeles but no longer. Leslie is toxic. It's another high school click. So tired of these wanna be leaders.

    2. Leslie is a "clique", and a sad one at that!

    3. April 22 @ 7:12 PM. Dear Armchair Warrior, At least revitalize is actively trying to do something to improve PA. Isn't that what this forum is all about? Geez, bitch much?

  8. Uh oh! Tom Harper has declared war against the Navy. Ha ha ha!

  9. Silly wabbit, the future development is the hospital additions. The city taxpayers are going to pay for the hospitals infrastructure. Do we own it?

  10. City council wants city residents to pay for the new infrastructure to serve the expansion at the hospital. We don't own the hospital....Karen Rogers does.

  11. From today's PDN coverage of the meeting...

    "Whetham, noting that Clallam County alternates between having the first- and second-highest overall deaths by suicide of any county in Washington state..."

    Do you suppose any member of the City Council has ever, even for a moment, pondered the link between this fact, and the decisions that they have made regarding the city's economy, environment and/or infrastructure? WHY do SO many people in Port Angeles abuse drugs? WHY do SO many try to kill themselves?

    Could it be we have a City Council made up of cheerleaders, as opposed to real leaders? Personally, I absolutely think that plays a part in all this. Look at the dysfunctional community and culture they have created, and continue to nurture. It's depressing, it's soul-destroying, it's ugly.

    1. Not that I disagree that the leadership and the way they manage Port Angeles is not ugly, dysfunctional or soul-destroying, but you make a fundamental flaw in accepting as fact what Council member Lee Whetham says.

      As I mentioned previously, I took some time to research suicide related issues for Clallam County.

      Clallam County does not rank " between having the first- and second-highest overall deaths by suicide of any county in Washington state..."

      The county with the highest rate, and by a wide margin, is Skamania at 36 per 100,00 people, followed by Pacifica county at 28. Okanogan county comes in third at 25, Stevens and Asotin are fourth and fifth at 24 each.

      Clallam ranks 6th in " overall deaths by suicide of any county in Washington state..."

      But, why be accurate? Here is another example of how the city misrepresents reality in order to get funding support for ill conceived projects.

  12. From the time Cherie Kidd first asked the council to anoint her the point person to save all the jumpers from themselves she learned that only 4% of suicides are jumpers. Forty-five percent use guns. The weekend before she made the hysterical plea to her council mates there was a huge gun show at the fair grounds. Why didn't Cherie organize a boycott of the gun show. Let people know that guns are the main means of suicide. Call out the county for even hosting such a debacle. But nooooo, Cherie doesn't want to do anything really meaningful. She only wants to gain a few headlines for her valiant efforts to save the poor lost souls from themselves. I'm calling it a cheap self centered re-election campaign ploy and the other council members saw it for what it is--even is they went along. The fix is in. The back-scratching begins. Now watch John Brewer and his ilk run story after story about Cherie Kidd's vain-glorious efforts to prevent suicide. She did however put the city on the hook for the last four suicides from the bridges. She said at council that the design of the bridges originally called for higher suicide fences but the price of steel surged so the council decided a few jumpers was worth the savings. You can't have it both ways Cherie--oh, wait, this is Port Angeles--I guess you can have it both ways.

    1. Cherie Kidd is not the politician to take on the gun lobby, or even the gun hobby. She is also not the politician to use actual facts or reality to guide her efforts, such as they are. But, as you point out so correctly, she is not opposed to getting some free, warm and fuzzy press coverage.

    2. Here's a clue....Cherie Kidd is not a politician at all. Cherie Kidd is an embarrassment, and all of Port Angeles, WA know it!
      AN EMBARASSMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Is it just me or is the PDN bringing more of a sensationalist bent to their council articles? I mean, I understand this is the same newspaper that runs front page articles about a local couple giving birth to the reincarnation of Michael Jackson (and how IS the reincarnation of Michael Jackson lately?), but even so... What I got from the article isn't that we need suicide fencing, but that Cherrie Kidd is burnt out and no one on the council wants to do anything except show up until moving on to greener pastures. The ongoing debacle with the EDC seemed more about Chapman needing to change medication. Our leaders are being written as whining children. Of course fair's fair, they ARE politicians, but I don't think the focus shouldn't be on that unless that's the point of the article.

  14. So it looks like we'll need suicide barriers at the City Pier too, Cherie.


    1. It might be wiser to just paint bullseyes below the Pier Tower and the both 8th Street bridges with large letters in the center that read "If in doubt, place body here!".

    2. Don't forget the new Boulevard bridge!

  15. @Anon 10:01 I really think we should put this Public Access TV thing to bed. It just doesn't make economic sense to think about this in an age when the council meetings can be shot with a cheap camera (or phone) and posted on youtube for the entire world, not just PA to see.

    I'd like to see the city and the county spend a couple hundred bucks on doing just that. If they won't then perhaps some concerned citizens need to. I hope Dale has at least considered this much more cost-effective option.

    1. Dale just wants to be on TV. Even worse, he thinks others want him to be on TV.

    2. The City, Port, and Commissioners were sent a letter advocating live streaming and archiving of their meetings, a month or two ago. An article about this was in the PortoCall a month or so ago.

      You have to remember: If staff doesn't think it is important, it won't happen. They write the staff reports. They write the agendas. They tell the Council what is possible, and what they can afford.

    3. Too true!
      He's almost as embarrassing as Cherie Kidd!
      What a Loser.

    4. Wow! You show your true colors if you think Dale is that shallow, or a "loser".

      I would challenge you to point out anybody in Port Angeles, or Clallam county that has accomplished what he has in just 16 months. Gone from a complete unknown, new to the community, to now very effectively helping changing the very things folks here complain about.

      If you think ANYBODY, Dale Wilson or by any other name, can be called a loser for devoting the obvious time and effort he has to making their adopted community a better place, you simply have no credibility.

    5. What has changed?

    6. Dale has never even published his own photo in his paper, what makes you think he's dying to get on tv? Yes youtube can be seen the world over but those are not the voters who can make a substantial change in local governance. Those folks in the city limits who can, with the click of their remote control, go right into the city council meeting from their easy chair. They can see the goofiness that passes for governance. The infrastructure is there already and there is no cost involved--none. It is you ankle biters that keep things the way they are. Every time something happens that might make a change for the better you naysayers get in line to drub it. Why don't some of you ankle biters go into your own pocket and publish a paper spotlighting the goofiness that is costing the community millions of dollars. Port O Call has inspired a few changes but not anything like what is needed. Get on board with the changes or shut the F up when someone else tries to do your heavy lifting.

    7. For starters, a mechanism for accountability that never existed before. A kind of public accountability that never existed in Port Angeles, Sequim or the County before.

      As many of us know, prior to Dale starting his *independent* paper, the only things that the public learned about was what the powers-that-be let them know. The Peninsula Daily News won't even allow you to express your own opinion in the "Letters to the Editor" section.Everything has to go along with THEIR views, or the public doesn't get to hear it.

      Prior to Dales' paper, the City staff routinely (and still does) twisted facts to support what ever they wanted the clown crew (city council) to rubber stamp, and the Peninsula Daily News just printed what ever staff said, without question. Dale and his fellow writers actually look into the issues, and tell the public what is really going on.

      And, the scrutiny isn't limited to the City. The ambulance contract. Police services. The justice system.The hospital. Public access TV. Live streaming of local meetings.

      Dale is also actively working on getting new faces to run for all of the various positions in the county, in this falls' election.

      Actually, as I think about it, the list is pretty long. If I have to, I can keep writing about what has changed. And, all in only a year or so?

      Who else is doing all this, simultaneously? I'm impressed.

    8. A fair question. The obvious answer is - nothing has changed. Nothing has changed at all.
      Port Angeles continues to be a shutdown, industrial mill town that is becoming ever more rundown, dirty, poverty stricken, and drug addicted. A town where an ever increasing proportion of the population depends on welfare or outright handouts. A place where even the kookiest losers can run unopposed and be elected to local/regional government office.

    9. Perfect example of just how desperate those stuck in Port Angeles really are!
      So little impresses so many!
      WHAT A JOKE!

    10. @ Anon 1:15

      Really, it looks like a funny " chicken/egg" kind of thing.

      An analogy: Team goes out and plays against a better trained, better financed team and loses. Does that mean the team gives up, and never tries to play again?

      Is the town inherently doomed to failure, no matter who is involved, or what is attempted? Because of the water? The location on the planet? Magnetic waves? Crystals under the ground?

      Or, is it more likely that the town has been run by wimps and crooks and lazy residents have let them get away with it?

      Seriously. In other places, people get out, and say "enough".

      We can sit back and blame Karen Rogers, Glenn Cutler or Brooke Nelson, but the real truth is this place sucks because of us. The crooks and wimps did what they did because we sat back, and did nothing to stop them. Or, more accurately, not enough of us did enough to be effective.

      You say: " A fair question. The obvious answer is - nothing has changed. Nothing has changed at all." Among those who sit back and do nothing, yeah, you're right. Nothing has changed.

      But, there are people putting a lot of effort out trying to do what you and others should be doing.

      At the last City Council meeting, there were about 3 dozen people in the audience. Were you there?

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But opinions are not facts. You can say " nothing has changed", but it is just your opinion, not fact. If you REALLY cared, you would be making an effort.

      Unless you think those under ground crystals are generating mind control magnetic waves that make otherwise good people into bozo wimps and crooks, and therefore Port Angeles is inherently doomed by it's location on the planet.

      Accountability works both ways.

    11. @ Anon 5:45

      You sound exactly like the Maxi-Pad troll from Tom's blog.

      Remember those that wanted the status quo to remain unchanged, and their efforts to discredit Max Mania?

      Yeah, Max met with all kinds of groups and people to encourage them to get involved in local affairs. Tried to expose what the cronies were doing.

      But, the cronies and their supporters couldn't shut him up, and intimidate him like they could with Cherie and other council members. So, they set upon a concerted effort to discredit him and his wife in every way possible, and finally succeeded in driving him and his wife out of town.

      So, now we see a similar voice, saying similar things. Not surprisingly.

    12. 4:34, Is Dale a bigger loser than you? At least he is doing something more helpful than anonymously calling names. Anonymous,April 24 @ 4:34, I declare you the biggest loser in this thread!

  16. Looking over this thread, and the accounting of what happened at last Tuesday's City Council meeting, does anybody really wonder why this city is in such bad shape?

    CK, the title is right on target. There is no need to send in the clowns. And yes, they've been here. For a long time now.

    The other thing that is really obvious for anybody that attends Commissioner or City Council meetings is, if they don't like what you're saying, you get ignored. At election time, you hear all the usual platitudes about how they want to hear from you. As was seen on those videos, Cherie Kidd went on and on about how we all should write and call council members. " We REALLY want to hear from you".

    But stand up at "Public Comment" period, and tell them things they don't want to hear? Write emails? Nothing. No responses in any way.

    But staff? They can come up with the most looney statements, and council just nods like a row of bobble-head dolls.

    Year after year, after year.

    1. Let's remember what was REALLY at stake when Brooke Nelson went after Max Mania a few years back. She tried to make it sound as though Max was some sort of Communist threat to the economic viability of Port Angeles, and that was why she had to spy on him and appoint herself email monitor for the City Council.

      But when you read through the "gotcha" emails that she included in her bogus "ethics complaint," the only thing you saw was Max, over and over again, trying to encourage people to speak up to the Council, talk to them at the Farmer's Market, at public comment, etc. THAT was the real "crime" he was guilty of - trying to rouse the rabble.

      Well, as the original poster points out, the city does NOT like the rabble to be roused. So you also end up with things like Dale Wilson's advertisers getting "cease and desist" phone calls. The fix is in, and those in on it do not like people making waves.

    2. Barnum and Bailey would make a fortune in Port Angeles.

  17. Geez, did anybody believe big daddy Mike McAleer would vote no on the opportunity fund giving $1million to his daughters hairbrained idea for composite recycling. Conflict of interest or what. Colleen McAlleer was the big whistle blower over phoney charges remember everyone. It didn't take her long to turn into the local scumbag poliltician she so adamantly protested against to get her port commission job. Grease those skids little piggys.

    1. Yeah, that whole whistleblowing thing just seemed like a way for her to gain more power. Not that there wasn't something worth whistleblowing over, but the way it was handled seemed... opportunistic...

  18. It will be a "great day in Port Angeles" when Kidd gets voted out of office in the next election!

    1. Hell, I'd even vote for for Peter Ripley against Cherie!
      Sorta like a Jackass 4.5 movie sequel!

    2. Cherie's last election was essentially unopposed as that idiot Cody Blevins dropped out at the last minute. Even if he'd stayed in the race he would have only garnered a few hundred votes, so it would still have been an "unopposed" election.

      Let's see what happens if someone with some credibility runs against her.