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.