Sunday, January 31, 2016

Corp or Corpse?

Just a couple of simple questions today, as both the City and the County will be considering funding the EDC (Economic Development Corp.) this coming week:

Is the EDC really worth $150,000 (or more) of your tax dollars?

Is the EDC really effective?

And, if you've answered yes to either of the above questions, then why isn't the local business community recognizing this by stepping up to fund it themselves? Or, put another way, if the EDC is so good at developing businesses...Why does it always need to go begging local governmental bodies to develop its own budget?

Now, now, don't cry little EDC...No one is
ever going to ask you to pay anything back.
Or produce anything.
Or prove you're effective.
Or do much of anything, really.
Other than to show up and collect your money.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hallett Hauls It

Yes, Jim Hallett is hauling ass out of the Port Commissioner's office. In a Mike Chapman-like fit of publically displayed conscience, he says he is leaving because fellow Commissioners Connie and Colleen have "violated the public meetings act" and "destroyed any trust" he once may have had. (Maybe he's also upset because the morons at the PDN misspelled his name in the headline of the article.)

In any case, you soon won't have Jim Hallett to kick around anymore! Or James Hallet!

Clallam County Knife Holder?

So, is this a case of truth-telling? Have Connie and Colleen been sneaking a conversation here and there? Or could it be that Jim Hallett's ego-puffed personality didn't mix well with having to rule with, you know, girls? Or could those rumors about Mr. Hallett's failing health have something to do with this?

Or, in classic Port Angeles fashion, is he simply bailing out because he's found a better scam elsewhere, and/or he's paving the way for the next conman to take his place at the Port?

So many questions yet to be answered. I do declare! I just can't keep up with all the backstabbing and scheming and quitting that goes on in Clallam County.

Starve the Beast, Part II

So now the PDN is covering the movement to withhold utilities payments as a form of protest. Which is good!

However, the tenor of the coverage, at least the quotes from City staff members, is that this is no big deal. Which isn't so good.

Ah, but...If it's such a non-issue, then why is the PDN covering it? Maybe because, hmmm, it might have folks in City Hall a little more rattled that they're letting on? Cash flow, staff hassles, bad publicity - whatever you want to call it, it does exert some sort of pressure on the Fluoride Four.

In reading the article in the PDN, the thing that really jumped out at me came right at the end:

Byron Olsen said depending on how widespread the non-payment protest becomes, the cost of lost revenue could be spread out across all ratepayers regardless of their view of fluoridation.

When Peninsula Plywood went bankrupt in 2011, the hundreds of thousands of dollars its owners owed the City inutility costs were covered by City ratepayers forced to bear the brunt of the unpaid bills.

Now, RATHER OBVIOUSLY, the City is trying to scare people into A) Paying their bills, or B) Worrying that they'll have to pay someone else's bills - so as to put pressure back on the anti-fluoride folks.

But, you know what? All I really see is a desperate City Council that is so stupid as to use one of their own colossal and costly blunders as a cautionary tale. It was the City Council (minus Max Mania, who raised concerns early and often) that allowed Pen Ply to run up such a huge delinquent bill. It was the City Council (minus Max Mania, who voted against it) who chose to devote staff time and City resources to getting more grant money for Pen Ply without having them pay their bills as part of the deal. It was the City Council that created that situation. It was the City Council who decided to spread Pen Ply's debt out over the citizens of Port Angeles.

Just like it is the City Council who have created the furor over fluoride. It was the City Council who sent out the survey. It was the City Council that ignored the results. It was the City Council who brushed off compromises and alternative approaches. It was the City Council who ignored staff's recommendation to resolve the issue.

In other words, by bringing up Pen Ply, all the Council has done is reminded the people that, oh yeah, they have one more reason not to trust and to be pissed off. As strategy, it's pretty moronic.

But then again, let's look who we're talking about.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Starve the Beast

A column I read in Thursday's New York Times echoed a thought I'd been having about Port Angeles - and that I'll get to in a minute.

Here's an excerpt from the column ("America the Unfair?") by Nicholas Kristof:

Martine Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University found that in policy-making, views of ordinary citizens essentially don't matter. They examined 1,779 policy issues and found that attitudes of wealthy people and of business groups mattered a great deal to the final outcome - but that the preferences of average citizens were almost irrelevant.

"In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule," they concluded. "Majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts."

One reason is that our political system is increasingly driven by money...Solutions are complex, imperfect and uncertain, but the biggest problem is not a lack of tools, but a lack of will.


It's the money, stupid. It makes people (politicians) stupid, does the (lust for) money. Money makes the world go round, and a lot of politicians would like to keep things spinning around so fast that everyone gets dizzy - and distracted.

Politicians use money to play on our hopes (More jobs! More money!) and our fears (Loss of jobs! Less money!). Money means prosperity, and prosperity is an acceptable proxy for morality, honesty, and any number of other harder to quantify traits we all supposedly want to see in our elected leaders.

Look no further than the article in today's PDN, with the EDC doling out "Olympic leaders" awards to the same circle of old white guys (Eric Lewis, Dan Wilder, Jr., Nathan West, Jerry Nichols, etc.) who have created and/or overseen the tremendous growth of absolutely nothing that typifies Port Angeles.

(Nathan) West told the audience that 2015 was a banner year for private-sector investment.

"We had 24 new businesses open their doors in Port Angeles," West said. "We're moving in the right direction."

How many times has Nathan West said that exact same thing in years past? Let me answer for you: Dozens of times, and quite possibly more. And yet, gee, the economy in Port Angeles continues to lag in essentially every way you can measure such things. The population continues to shrink. The only direction you're moving in, Nathan, is in every-smaller circles, spiraling down, down, down. How many of those "24 new businesses" from years past are still open, Nathan? Very few. How many of this last batch will make it? Very few, Nathan.

The Pinocchio of Port Angeles: The more he lies to you,
the bushier his beard gets.

He knows that. You know that. And Nathan knows that you know that. But it's part of his job, spinning fantasy - "More jobs! More money! Hurrah!" It provides cover to his supposed bosses on the City Council, and in turn, it covers his ass, since then they won't want to replace him. It's a perfect closed system, a circular firing squad.

Or, you could look at the other article in the PDN today, about how the EDC is now "the economic engine" of Clallam County. Again, it's the same tired cast of characters (Eric Lewis, Brad Collins, Hugh Haffner, John Calhoun, and ancient Orville Campbell, among others) spinning the same old BS. The only engine the EDC has gotten going is their own - they've hired a couple of staff people. Other than that - nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nothing. Nothing but BS.

And it all runs on, thrives on, and seeks out

So what happens if you cut down the flow of money to this sick, destructive beast? Might that not force it to change its behavior? It certainly would get its attention.

With that in mind, here's an idea to consider, for those of you who are utilities customers of the City of Port Angeles. As you know, every month, for years now, there are about a third of Port Angeles utility customers who can't, and therefore don't, pay their utility bills. This has been a persistent cash flow problem for the City, as well as a headache for staff.

Now, imagine what would happen if, say, another third of utilities customers started to only pay two-thirds of their utilities bills each month? I'm not talking about refusing to pay at all, mind you, just cutting down how much you pay for the duration, in order to send a message. And by sending a message, I mean literally sending a message. With each bill, you could send in your check for two-thirds of your bill, along with a note explaining that, "Since I do not have full confidence in the City's ability to govern responsibly, I am not paying my full bill this month."

Then, you just roll over a little extra in your savings for, say, six or eight months, and let the unpaid portion grow a little more each month, slowly starving the beast of funds until this City Council gets right with the community, or gets replaced.

Only sixty-seven cents of every dollar might drive them crazy...

I offer this suggestion because, obviously, facts don't work on this Council. Shaming doesn't work either, since the Fluoride Four clearly have no shame. But when you start tightening up the purse strings...Well, that's hitting them where it hurts, and it might just have a motivational effect on them over the course of a few months.

In any case, per the column referenced above, remember: There's no lack of tools, just a lack of will, when it comes to addressing these problems in our political system. So stay strong, stay vocal, and stay on them. When it comes to cracking many of the problems facing Port Angeles, it currently comes down to simply getting one - just one - of the Fluoride Four to crack, or to leave. Then you could have a majority to get things done, and fight against the death spiral of the status quo.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Plane! Plane! Come Back! Bye, Plane...

Meanwhile...Let's not forget that the yahoos over at the Port are also more than capable of fiasco-enabling behavior.

Running around like Tattoo on Fantasy Island, they've trumpeted the fact that they finally got a new airline to service Port Angeles. Surely you remember that run of stories in the PDN back in October? "The plane! The plane!"

No contract? Then no contact. You can board
at gate number none.

Only...OOPS! There is no airline servicing Port Angeles Fairchild Logyard Airport. SeaPort was "set to begin" regular service there on March 1st, only, well...They don't have enough pilots. Oh, and they're completely cancelling services in other states, including the bonanza market that is California. Somehow I don't think they're cancelling services in a huge place like California to, you know, really free themselves up to focus in on their opportunities in Port Angeles.

Especially since, OOPS, if you read a little more, you'll see that the Port didn't actually have a contract with SeaPort yet. As in, uh, no contract. As in, no done deal. Yet, there the Port was back in October, announcing "The plane! The plane!" But apparently the Port is still in the process of "negotiating a facilities lease."

It seems obvious that some of the really fine, fine folks down at the Port believe that you can fly people to SeaTac if you just generate enough hot air. Well, as we've now learned, that is not the case. Better start flapping really hard, Mr. Hallett. Maybe that'll work, you big, stupid turkeys.

Meanwhile, if you want to get out of Port Angeles, it'll have to be by land or by sea.

No, no, Tattoo. I've told you a million times!
It's DUH plane, DUH!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What We've Got Here is Failure to Communicate

Yes, it sure does seem that a line from Cool Hand Luke sums up last night's City Council meeting.

It makes even more sense if you take more of the dialogue from that scene between the Captain and Luke:

Captain: You gotta get used to wearing them chains after a while, Luke. Don't you never stop listening to them clinking, 'cause they gonna remind you what I been saying for your own good.

Luke: I wish you'd stop being so good to me, Captain.

Captain: Don't you ever talk that way to me. (Hits Luke)  Never! Never! What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it.

You'll thank me for this one day, Luke...

And per IMDb (the Internet Movie Database), here's the synopsis of Cool Hand Luke:

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

That sounds like a good summation of life in Port Angeles for a lot of people.

So...Anyone surprised? Any thoughts? Next steps?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wither the Fluoride Four?

Well alright then. City staff have, at least somewhat officially, caved. So now the question becomes will any members of the Fluoride Four come out of their cave into the light of reason?

In a memo to the City Council, City staff have laid out five possible options for dealing with the (totally predictable) fallout from the Fluoride Four's fuck you vote. Staff, worried about their own budgets and jobs, are apparently terrified of the idea of a movement to change the governing structure of the City - such as is being floated by anti-fluoride/pro-accountability people in Port Angeles. They are worried about Port Angeles becoming - officially - a "second-class city."

So, in order to try and stop that effort, staff have proposed five options for the Fluoride Four to consider.

One: Continue fluoridation until 2026, as ordained by the vote of the Fluoride Four. Cost: Over $20,000 a year and all public trust. And hello Second Class City!

Two: Continue fluoridation over that same period, but provide a one-time, limited $100 per home subsidy to buy a water filtration system. Cost: Over $20,000 a year, plus a budgeted one year outlay of $200,000. (That's money the City doesn't have, that would be used to - partially - buy systems that wouldn't work.)

Three: Discontinue fluoridation when the current contract ends in May. Cost: NONE. The water utility would save over $20,000 a year.

Four: Arrange for yet another public vote on the issue. (Sigh.) This one an "official advisory vote" - which means, I guess, that the Fluoride Four wouldn't have their fingers crossed this time. Cost: Unknown, but the election would cost between $4,000 and $8,000. Said election would then likely result in other costs for whatever results.

Five: Stop fluoridating the water, but replace it with some sort of "Oral Health Care Initiative." This is a blank page that would allow the City Council, should they choose this option, to shape it into whatever they (as experts, right?) deemed suitable. Cost: Up to $40,000 annually for 10 years. Or, let's be honest, until the Council takes another vote to reduce or eliminate the program. (Remember, that's what kept the City Council so afraid of changing course during the last ten years - the $400,000 stoppage penalty that Karen Rogers and Crew put in place for early withdrawl. Without that threat looming, this program would be easy pickings for elimination in future budget discussions.)

So there you have it. Now here are my questions to you. Which of these seems the best to you, personally? And which one do you think the City Council will be able to muster four votes for?

(P.S. - In pondering the above, please keep in mind that one of the hardest things for a politician to do is to simply admit they may have been wrong. This is especially true of insecure politicians, who often deal with facts by doubling down on fantasy.)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Saving a Little Money Against a Backdrop of Wasted Lives

Well, they kind of sort of tried to put a positive spin on it, but...

Clallam needle exchange clients increase, but number of syringes lent out falls

First of all, a semantic issue: These needles aren't really "lent" out. They're given away. If they do end up coming back, great, fine. But there's no way to assure that they come back. Hence, they are given away.

Anyway...The positive shine put on this situation in this story doesn't have much luster. Christina Hurst, public health programs manager told a couple dozen people dozing their way through a PABA meeting that the local needle exchange program has become more "efficient." Which isn't a bad thing, budget-wise, but the fact remains that the number of people seeking to use this particular shoot 'em up service continues to rise.

In 2014, Hurst said the exchange received 800 repeat visits from about 234 clients in the community who then distributed sterile syringes to about 1722 people. In 2015, the exchange received 865 repeat visits from about 275 clients who then distributed sterile syringes to about 2264 people.

That's a pretty big jump, from 1722 to 2264 people, especially against the backdrop of the small population of Clallam County and the peninsula as a whole. It also almost surely fails to capture or account for all the people using and injecting drugs in Clallam County. And all semantic niceties aside (referring to drug addicts as "clients"), it's clear that the drug problem in Clallam County continues to grow.

Handing out more needles.
Saving enough money to buy new spoons.
(Footnotes of irony: Christina Hurst, now being sent out to tout the needle exchange program, initially spent a great deal of time and energy fighting it, arguing against it. Her lack of concern about drug abuse in Clallam County is no secret. Meanwhile, speaking of abuse, while Hurst may not be a drug abuser herself, she is, in fact, a serial abuser as a manager. She is well known for being harsh, abusive, punitive, etc. with those who have to work under her. She is insecure, petty and vindictive, and has caused a great deal of staff turmoil and turnover in her little area of the County Health Department.)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Food for Thought...Sure, You Bet. But Food for People...Well, Not So Much.

What with all the activity and angst around the Port Angeles City Council's latest boneheaded moves, I waited a few days to move on to a new subject. But there was another PDN article this past week that really caught my attention, and seems deserving of discussion.

It was the article about the food banks in Clallam County, and the headline summed it up pretty well: Food banks draw nearly a quarter of county residents, Port Angeles director says.

The article goes on to explain: "Once food banks in Clallam County began comparing figures last year, they found that nearly one-quarter of those living in the county had used their services in 2014, said Jessica Hernandez, director of the Port Angeles Food Bank. "When we put all of our information together, we saw...our food banks served one in every four people in Clallam County," said Hernandez.

She goes on to explain: "Year over year for the past three years, we have seen an increase of twelve percent in clients. And that is not people coming back every time, every month. Those are individuals, another twelve percent, that I didn't see the previous year."

Are any other (for profit) businesses growing 12% a year in Clallam County?

Good news? No. Sustainable? No. Are these comparable rates to other areas? Unknown, but...Shocking? Yes. And again, is this sort of negative growth sustainable? No. As in,  

No community is undone by one thing. No one indicator spells doom, generally speaking. But an indicator like this, coupled with the persistently high rates of unemployment and drug abuse, as well as the shrinking, failing schools and the overall aging of the population in Clallam County, in addition to the huge numbers of people who can't pay their utility bills each month...Well, it's not a pretty picture. Yet, to bring it all back to the previous topic, some members of the City Council are worried that not adding fluoride to the water will make Port Angeles less marketable, less likely to succeed, while essentially ignoring all of these other issues. The fluoride issue is a debatable one, from a PR and image perspective. But there can be no doubt, none at all, that these other issues weigh heavily indeed upon the City, the County, and all the people therein.

Or, to put it in a simpler form that may be more digestible for elected officials: It's right hard to market a town that's poor, unemployed, drug-addled, run down, aging, ugly, and, yes, just plain hungry. You've carefully created a town that is both depressed and depressing. Residents live with it every day; visitors can't help but notice it. Yet you, you City Council members and County Commissioners, you do nothing but enable this despair. You go through the motions of fretting about tooth decay in "the children," yet you do nothing to stop the systemic decay of their community, their schools, and their future.

How many of those City Council members look like they've missed a meal lately? How many of them do you think actually care or worry about indicators like this? And how likely to do you think real change is when these cold, clueless morons, the Fluoride Four plus more, are in charge?

Clallam County is fucked up at the county level,
but Washington State is pretty fucked up, too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

And the Pity Votes Have It! "Congratulations" Mayor Pat Downie!

It's no secret that Pat Downie has always been, to be charitable, out of touch and behind the times and a day late and a dollar short and bereft of ideas and fond of nothing so much as patting his own back and babbling on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

It's also no secret that Pat Downie is, to be charitable, very, very ill. When I watched the video of that last City Council meeting, I was truly shocked at his appearance. I didn't even recognize him at first. He appears to have aged at least fifteen years in the last couple of years, and he looked like he was on death's doorstep. I've heard from numerous sources about Pat's illness, and no one expects him to even be able to finish his term at the rate he's deteriorating.

Mayor Pat Downie: He's gonna party like it's 1899!

Thus, to sum up: Pat's a brainless babbler, and he's dying, right here in front of everyone. So of course he was elected Mayor last night. Could there have been any other outcome? Behind the scenes, I have no doubt there were invitations extended to Pat's Pity Parade, and his fellow members of the Fluoride Four accepted. Again, no surprises there, folks.

And, to add insult to injury, fellow verbal diarrhea sufferer Cherie Kidd, who has already died from the neck up, was installed as Deputy Mayor. Just. Like. She. Wanted.

So once again the call goes forth from the City Council Chambers: FUCK YOU, CITIZENS OF PORT ANGELES. Sit down, and shut up.

Only, uh, they didn't sit down, and they didn't shut up. Gosh, who knew that fluoride made peons, er, I mean people, so cranky and ungrateful? Don't you little people realize it's another GREAT day in Port Angeles?

Cherie Kidd is a total and complete joke.
So why aren't you little people laughing?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Crime and/or Punishment in Clallam County

As you doubtlessly know, Thanksgiving has come and gone, as has Christmas and the New Year. Well, to that trio of holidays we can now possibly add another one that may soon be coming to an end: The so-called tax "holiday" in Clallam County. You know, the one that saves you twenty cents out of every hundred dollars you spend.

Admittedly, as holidays go, this is a minor one - sort of like having your lunch break at work extended by an extra three minutes. What will you do with all that extra, uh, dimes you (might) end up with? The possibilities are not quite limitless, to be sure.

Mine, goddamn it! MINE!

Ah, but the possibilities for rabid right-wing outrage over the idea of "taking" that twenty cents back is nearly as limitless as it is clueless. In their eternal quest to keep those two dimes, it's safe to say that no quarter will be given. Not a finger!

Here's just one sentence from the comments on the PDN's article about the possibility of reinstating that twenty cent tax, which sums up the general tone of the comments: "There is now a political majority of left-wingers, Chapman & Ozias, who are free to punish taxpayers to their hearts content."


Now there's a reasoned and rational argument, eh? No biases or partisanship (or fantasy football) intruding into that worldview, is there? And once again, well stated, President Trump!

Obviously, this is part of a larger political problem in the United States, the problem being intense partisan division. But, though it plays out in some way all across the country, it does seem to be even more intense in smaller, economically distressed areas like Clallam County. To put that another way, in a larger, more sophisticated area, it might take, oh, say, at least forty or fifty cents to get the far-right so worked up.

But, with pressing problems at hand - a flatlined economy, failing schools, high rates of drug abuse, an aging population, aging infrastructure, tight budgets and political corruption, etc. - how do real-world solutions get discussed, yet alone approved, in such a divided community? Especially when much of that division runs right along the split between Reality and Fantasy.

I didn't speak up when they came for the dimes, because I had no dimes.
I didn't speak up when they came for the nickels, because I had no nickels.
When they came for the pennies...

I mean, Mike Chapman is a "left-winger"? Hardly. Political opportunist is more like it, one who will do what he has to in order to survive. When Mike's travelled all along the political spectrum, it's just not accurate to pin him down to any one ideological silo. Meanwhile, I think it's safe to say - speaking from Planet Reality - that both Chapman and Mark Ozias consider taxing issues to be, you know, financial matters. I don't think either of them are aiming to "punish taxpayers." And if they are, really, how much punishment can you buy for twenty cents? But a lot of people are spouting foolishness just like that, and some is even less tethered to Reality than this example.

So again, how do you solve real-world problems when half the population denies that world - Planet Reality - exists? And, in a place where hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of public dollars are routinely stolen and/or wasted, right out in the open, why do people get so agitated over twenty cents?

Monday, January 4, 2016

NO! Really? I'm Shocked - Shocked I Tell You! - PART II - AKA - Hey, Scott - Your Refrigerator is Running!

I know that you will all join me in being utterly surprised to learn that - GASP! - the Lincoln Theater is STILL FOR SALE. Only now, it's "officially" going back on the market, minus Dapper Dan Gase as the realtor.

Obviously, there are a lot of crazy, stupid angles to this story - the ever-shifting, non-existent "host" non-profit to facilitate Scott Nagel's fundraising efforts; the attempt to buy a building when you don't have any actual money on hand: the fact that Nagel agreed to pay a price that's higher than the assessed value of this extremely run-down, problem-rich building - and on and on.

But my favorite part of the story in today's PDN (written by Paul Clotlieb) is the part that shows how a huge portion of Scott's pipedream plans were set on a false foundation established by what turned out to essentially be a prank phone call.

From the article: But Nagel is still trying to reel in one that got away: An anonymous donor who reneged this month on a $75,000 pledge without saying why. 

I imagine it going down something like this...

"Hello, is this Scott Nagel?"

"Yes it is."

"Oh, hi Scott. I'm calling because, uh, I'd like to make a pledge for the Lincoln Theater fundraising."

"Great! Wonderful! How much would you like to pledge?"

"Uh...(Giggling in background) How about, um, seventy-five thousand dollars? Yeah, yeah, that's it! (More giggling in background.) Seventy-five thousand dollars!"

"Oh, wonderful! Thank you so much! And who is this calling?"

"Um, my name is Jack...Jack Mehoff. (Riotous laughter in background.)"

"Thank you, thank you so much, Mr. Mehoff!"

Of course, as most adults know, Jack Mehoff doesn't really exist any more than the Easter Bunny does. But poor, stupid Scott put so many eggs in that one Easter basket anyway. And now, oops, he's more than 25% short on his fundraising efforts. Which is to say, it's time to wake up from your pipedream, Scott, because it's just officially turned into an embarrassing nightmare.

Friday, January 1, 2016

NO! Really? I'm Shocked - Shocked I Tell You! - AKA File Under: DUH! - AKA - The Further Adventures of the Fluoride Four

It's a New Year! Hurrah! But the PDN is still the same old behind-the-curve, day late and a dollar short purveyor of the stale, obvious truth. Hence today's headline:

Fluoride may play a role in Port Angeles mayor selection.

No! What a total surprise! Well, other than the fact that that's an obvious fact - one we already raised and discussed here.

I'll leave it to you to match the members of
the Frightful Four to the members of
the Fluoride Four.

Anyway, two of the Fluoride Four, Brad Collins and Pat Downie, have said they want to be mayor. Though she had earlier (disingenuously) said she supported Downie for the post, now Sissi Bruch has stated that she also will put herself forward for the position, as a fluoride-free alternative.

They've attacked...

Now, I hate to start the New Year off on a negative note, but...Have you seen Brad Collins lately? He's a burger or two away from a major coronary event. Which is to say his physical health is not so good - which means it's a good match for his ethical health. Pat Downie is also known to be in very ill health. I have heard comments from multiple sources, wondering if either of these gentlemen will be able to even finish their terms. In other words, fit and dynamic leaders they are not. They are more of the same fat, stale, stuck, old and out of touch status quo crew.

Sissi, naïve though she may be, is not all of that. And she does listen. And she does seem to want to do things out of a spirit of public service, rather than ego gratification.

They've returned...

All of which is to say, is there even really a choice here? Of course not. The only question is: Will the Fluoride Four end up voting as a block? I think that seems likely - BUT - if enough people wrote letters to the editor, sent emails to their friends urging them to do so, and showed up for public comment demanding a fluoride-free mayor...Well then, maybe, just maybe, you could shame one of the Fluoride Four into voting for someone from outside their tired little clique. Maybe, just maybe, you could push the Port Angeles City Council into starting off the New Year with a new(er) face, and a fresher, more modern approach to all things governance.

Maybe. But it won't happen without pressure being applied. So let the pressing begin. Squeeze 'em hard, and don't let up until they cry "Sissi!"

But will you be defeated by the Fluoride Four yet again?