Friday, February 5, 2016

Cherie Kidd Ethics Complaint: “I am fully confident everything is going to be fine.”

Gavel Gertie rides again! It's old news here, but BREAKING NEWS at the PDN: An ethics complaint has been filed against Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd for her shameful, disgraceful, rude, unprofessional, antagonistic and humiliating performance at the last Port Angeles City Council meeting.

As ethics complaints go, this one is a pip - detailed, well-written and it names names and cites citations. Well done, Marolee!

And yet, despite all this...Despite the documentation of her arrogant and out of control behavior (captured on video from multiple sources, as well as the City's own audio recording)...Despite the embarrassment of breaking so egregiously with decorum and civility...Despite the well-substantiated complaints lodged against her...And despite the fact that she decided to essentially put her own head in a noose in front of a packed house and the press...Gavel Gertie apparently remains more upbeat than beat up.

Sayeth disgraced Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd, when asked about all of the above: "I am fully confident everything is going to be fine."

Given Cherie's general befuddlement and lack of understanding of the many issues she has to deal with, this simplistic riff on "What, Me Worry?" could essentially serve as both Cherie's motto and modus operandi. Out of control staff? Out of control spending? Out of control debt? Out of control populace? No worries: "I am fully confident everything is going to be fine."


Clearly, a great many people in Port Angeles would respectfully disagree with you, Cherie.

26 comments:

  1. This only goes to show how little Cherie Kidd cares about Port Angeles.

    As with the outrageous actions she deliberately engaged in at the last council meeting, and then defended, these statements in the face of the well documented ethics complaints show how little she actually cares about Port Angeles, it's citizens, and it's future.

    It was only a week or so ago former Mayors Rogers, Wiggins and Braun wrote in the PDN, describing the current situation created by this city council as "complete chaos". Cherie almost all by herself ramps it up to never-seen-before levels of insults to the public at the meeting immediately following the former mayors comments, and then sees nothing wrong in what she has done??

    And then, to top it all off, after a multi-page ethics complaint is formally filed against her, her response is ""I am fully confident everything is going to be fine." ??

    Cherie Kidd's response clearly shows she has no remorse, and doesn't see the damage she is doing to Port Angeles. As always, it is only about her.

    She , and the four, want to characterize the whole "problem" as merely a couple dozen disgruntled people who have nothing better to do with their lives than be "uncivil" towards the council. They intentionally and conveniently deflect attention away from the 57% of people who, despite being repeatedly bombarded by full color glossy placards mailed to their homes urging them to "Vote Yes" on the survey the council members THEMSELVES created and approved, didn't.

    Those thousands don't show up at council meetings, but they are not forgotten.

    Cherie may disgust us all with her continued disregard for the town and it's citizens, but it also serves to validate all efforts to see changes.

    Cherie's actions cannot be allowed to stand as an example for our children to see as how a city council member treats the public. Cherie cannot be allowed to set the standard for what is acceptable behavior for our elected representatives.

    Cherie Kidd has to step down, now. Cherie Kidd WILL step down now, if she has any sense of decency and morality.

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  2. "There are none so blind as them that will not see."

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    1. Methinks there are many out there that are very willing to help Ms. Kidd see!

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  3. Not only that, but, it's another GREAT day in Port Angeles!

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  4. Cherie may have watched videos of Seattle City Council meetings and learned some bad behaviors from them. Seattle allows one 20-minute public comment period at its meetings. Speakers are limited to 2 minutes, or less each, or less if a number of people sign-up to speak.
    At the end of 20 minutes, the Seattle council president cuts off the comment period, regardless of whether there are still people who wish to speak. At least one uniformed police officer stands near the front of council chambers at all times.
    Most Seattle City Council members look annoyed that they must endure hearing from the public at all. Many of them are preoccupied with something else (playing games on their smart phones, perhaps?) during the public comment period.
    In the closed club of public officials, Cherie's behavior is probably seen by the majority of her peers as fully justifiable. That's not to say that it is okay and acceptable to constituents.

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    1. Yes, and in some cities, the police kill unarmed civilians.

      What is most important is what the City Council, HERE, has set as the policies and procedures. What the citizens HERE have become accustomed to, based upon what the City itself has established as the ground rules for public participation.

      Towards that understanding, perhaps one or more of our great researchers out there might look up when the CURRENT COUNCIL expanded the public comment period from one session per meeting, to two. It is likely that Clallam Public Eye was recording that meeting, so that date will be important to know. Alternatively, the City makes audio recordings of Council meetings available to the public.

      It will be very helpful to hear what Cherie Kidd, Pat Downie and the others told the public about this change in public comment policy. Why was it changed?

      Our excellent researchers out there would do well to take a stop watch to a number of the public comment periods before things got contentious, and see how often the 3 minute rule was enforced by the sitting council, and the previous.

      The "norm" of what the council has established with the public is very important to document, now that Cherie Kidd and her cronies have abruptly changed what was established.

      It appears, from watching the video, that Cherie Kidd had a very clear intention to stifle public comment for political reasons. The changes, so clearly documented, show with little doubt a dramatic and unannounced change in policy that had only one purpose.

      The council did not have a lot of "other business" to attend to. There was no stated reason to change the policy given to the public. Even follow council members state they had no prior knowledge that the public comment policies were changed, prior to Cherie Kidd announcing them at the start of the meeting.

      A formal investigation needs to be initiated. Who met with who, prior to the council meeting, to discuss the changes. There is talk of people seeing a number of cars parked at a certain council members house, prior to the meeting. If true, these witnesses need to come forward, and clear up what might be something flat out illegal.

      Why were "no signs in the council chambers" signs printed on City letterhead, and taped to the City Hall walls immediately prior to the meeting starting? Who was in on those decisions? Who authorized using City letterhead? When was the policy change discussed? Who was present? Why were certain council members left out of the discussions?

      What happened Tuesday night is very serious. No public representative should ever have the power or ability to intentionally silence the public. If these decisions were made outside of publicly advertised meetings, open to the public, that is a serious problem.

      What is very clear is that decisions to silence the public were made in advance of the meeting, and Cherie was not alone in making these decisions.

      This is not over, by a long shot. A new chapter begins.

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    2. The second comment period was added this past summer, after several citizens requested they do so.

      The 7/7/2015 council notes have "Dale Wilson thanked the council for adding the second public comments period".

      6/16/2015 it was on the council agenda to discuss a second comment period.

      However, the way it went down: it was proposed by Whetham to ADD a second comment period. Bruch seconded it. Then, Collins and Gase moved to table the motion. The motion was tabled in a 5 to 2 vote (Whetham and Bruch were the two to vote against this.)

      At the next meeting (7/07) the staff came up with some options -- it was decided that the later public comment period was to be limited to 3 minutes per speaker, at the discretion of the mayor, and 15 minutes total, at the discretion of the mayor, for "flexibility". Motion made by Gase, seconded by Downie. 7-0, no one opposing.

      All public record, folks....

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    3. Thanks! So, we can see if Clallam Public Eye recorded those conversations.

      Of course, all the other questions, concerning what Cherie did, who knew beforehand what was going to be done, etc, remain.

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  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKOKjLqhBsM

    Sorry! I should have posted the link to the video of the meeting on this topic at the start. Sorry!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKOKjLqhBsM

    It's up to close to 400 views as of now. But keep sharing that link.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKOKjLqhBsM

    I've also read the official "minutes" of the meeting produced by the League of Women Voters. They have a decidedly soft-on-Cherie slant to them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKOKjLqhBsM

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    1. Am I mistaken in remembering that Cherie fawning supporter Ed Chadd and Cherie supporting Norma Turmer are mucky mucks in the League of Women Voters?

      We remember the petition to support the Fluoride Four Ed and Norma were sending out, just prior to the last council meeting?

      Can we expect any real fair review by the Ethics Board, or will this just be a whitewash job?

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    2. Ed Chadd and Norma Turner are both charter members of the make no waves, go along to get along (and hope they like you) club. Norma is retired, and lives outside the city limits. Ed lives off of the family trust fund. Neither of them are currently living in the real world, which makes them natural allies for Cherie Kidd's fantasy-based style of "governing."

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  6. Meanwhile, from today's Ripley Report...A classic Peter Ripley typo that could also count as an (unintentional) pun:

    "CITY ATTORNEY SAYS CITY COUNCIL IS NOT OBLIGATED TO FALLOW PARLIAMENTARY RULE.."

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  7. ".. PARLIAMENTARY RULE.." ??

    I know better than to try to understand anything Ripley says, but, when did any body suggest the council adopt parliamentary rule?

    I know, I know. He is trying to reference the Roberts Rules of order thing, in his own "Peter" kinda way.

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  8. Must we "fallow" city ordinances?

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    Replies
    1. Only if you're prepared to reap what you sew.

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  9. Reading about constitutional law, free speech, and City Council ability to restrict speech.

    "As mentioned earlier, Norse’s silent, one-to-two second gesture did not lead to any reaction among the audi­ence, and the mayor himself continued on with the agenda without notic­ing it. Even accepting that Norse’s Nazi salute was exclusively aimed at the time limit and not indicative of any other political disagreement, the council ejected him because of the idea that the gesture expressed and not any tangible disruptive effect.

    The decision’s implication that disruption encompasses affronts to decorum as well as tangible hindrances of official business is troubling. The majority quotes the district court, which found that after the mayor was alerted to the gesture he was “suddenly faced with a meeting that had been interrupted by an offended council member.”[53] According to press reports, the coun­cilman interrupted the mayor and demanded action because he said the Nazi salute insulted the “dignity of the body.”[54] The majority’s concep­tion of disruption thus appears to encompass harm to an official’s dignity since any tangible disruption to the city council’s ability to function resulted from offi­cials taking offense rather than from the speech itself.

    Under this approach, speech can be curtailed either because it is personally offensive to a government official or because of a prediction that the meeting will be disrupted by the action an official takes after being offended. The latter reason relies on speculation and makes the speaker liable for the behavior of a listener. The former reason runs against a strong tradition in American jurisprudence that assures that “debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”[55] This principle that offensiveness is not a sufficient ground for silencing political speech was reinforced in Cohen v. California,[56] in which the Court overturned the disturbing the peace conviction of a man who wore a jacket reading “Fuck the Draft” in a corridor outside of a courtroom. The fact that others might have seen the jacket and been offended was not enough to criminalize the speech in the absence of an actual disruption.[57] For the government to “shut off discourse solely to protect others from hearing it” in the absence of “a showing that substantial privacy interests are being invaded in an essentially intolerable manner . . . would effectively empower a majority to silence dissidents simply as a matter of personal predilections.”[58]


    The phrase that keeps coming up is that "“limitations on speech at those meetings must be reasonable and viewpoint neutral". Viewpoint neutral.

    Cherie Kidd walked into that council chamber with clear intention. She didn't want to hear any criticism of her, or of the council's actions. The restrictions she placed upon peoples' ability to speak were clearly not viewpoint neutral.

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  10. I swear it seems like they modeled Effie Trinket after Kidd!

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  11. These matters, the council procedures, the ethics, the speech rights, etc. are all legal issues.
    The Council has rules of procedure, some state laws apply as well (like open meetings), but Robert's Rules are only optional here and not mandatory.

    But hey, great threads here, get others to come & read this site! (fwiw no site owner affiliation whatsoever).

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    1. You are right, but in a common sense view, the public goes by what the council establishes. After the public sits through two or three hours of a "Public Comment" period without the Mayor or Council indicating there was any problem, it is clearly understandable and right for the public to object when at the very next meeting, strict controls and limits are imposed without any discussion or warning.

      What is most important to take away from what is going on right now is that Cherie Kidd and the other three are overtly trying to stifle political protest. They are trying to stifle speech protected by our rights.

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  12. Some more points of interest:


    "Under the First Amendment, the government may not close traditional public forums but may place reasonable restrictions on their use.
    The reasonableness of any such restriction will be evaluated in light of specific guidelines that have been established by the Supreme Court. First, a restriction must be content-neutral, which means the government may not prohibit entire classes of expression, such as speech concerning poverty, drug abuse, or race relations. Second, a restriction must be viewpoint-neutral, which means that it must apply uniformly to all speech; that is, it may not silence only those speakers whom the government opposes or sanction only those whom the government supports. Third, a restriction must burden speech no more than is necessary to serve an important government interest. "

    And, " Not every form of expression requires use of the written or spoken word. Some of the most visceral impressions are made by Symbolic Speech. Symbolic speech can include something as complicated as an algebraic equation or as simple as the nod of a head. Under the First Amendment, symbolic expression often takes the form of political protest. Flag burning is an example of symbolic speech that the Supreme Court found to be protected by the Free Speech Clause (texas v. johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 109 S. Ct. 2533, 105 L. Ed. 2d 342 [1989])."

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  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKOKjLqhBsM

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  14. Clearly, obviously, both Cherie Kidd and the PDN are trying to make it seem like Marolee's ethics complaint is just part of the ongoing furor over fluoride, rather than a stand-alone issue and example of Cherie's arrogance and overreach. DON'T LET THEM DO THIS.

    The fluoride issue will need to be addressed and resolved on its own.

    The issue of Gavel Gertie's anti-democratic actions and out of control behavior will need to be resolved on its own.

    This effort to tie the two together is just another attempt to stifle public participation and cover up the deep dissatisfaction felt with the Port Angeles City Council. But you know what? Given the endemic anemic state of the local economy, and the enormous debt-load the City is carrying, and the run-down nature of local infrastructure, and the blunt force efforts made to keep the public from being heard in City Hall...Among many other issues...I'd say people have the right to be angry. If you're NOT angry, then you're not paying attention.

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    1. CK, We should see what the PDN, and it's on-going obviously support for the established power structure is trying to do.

      Divide and conquer.

      By trying to get everyone to think it is all about fluoride, and then suggest YET ANOTHER vote, they hope to diffuse the foundational issues you describe.

      I find it really irritating that the PDN, Cherie Kidd, and their supporters can so easily disregard all the previous testimony, petitions and hours of comment by so many Port Angeles residents prior to the "advisory vote".

      Sure, the new publisher of the PDN can call for yet another advisory vote. It is an easy cop-out, avoiding holding the existing city council accountable for all the previous insults.

      As you point out so accurately, the PDN tries to ignore the real issues of the repeated, on-going insults to the public, the absolute lack of compassion or remorse, and the abuses of the four council members by saying "Hold another fluoride vote". What message does that send to our children about local politics? That democracy works, and they should bother to get involved?

      Again, you correctly point out that the current "complete chaos" is just the latest of a long string of actions taken by the council members that have sent the "Screw you" message to the public. Cherie Kidds comments of seeing nothing wrong clearly show how, for her, the process of public representation is just fine. She gets to continue to ignore the will of the people, and we all are to sit down, and shut up.

      The PDns editorial reveals how poorly the editorial staff understand the community, and what is going on within it.

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    2. My complaint never mentions "FLUORIDE". It isn't about fluoride. If the complaint doesn't mention it, what is the point of throwing it in? My complaint doesn't mention how I feel about the death penalty, abortion, or light beer, either. And, those are equally as irrelevant.

      To try and make that the crux of my argument, is throwing a red herring into the blender. Its to confuse the issue.

      SO LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR: MY COMPLAINT IS NOT ABOUT FLUORIDE. It is about rudeness, lack of professionalism, and abuse of power.

      Yeah, and, I ran for city council, and graciously lost to a really GREAT candidate, our new council member Meredith. Couldn't be happier. Congratulations to Mike.

      So, it isn't sour grapes. (Which is also a corner that the PDN is trying to paint me into.)

      I remembered the Ethics that the city council squabbled over (2012). Cherie was front-and-center, so was Downie. They voted on this ethics code. THEY PUT IT INTO OUR CITY CODE.

      I believe that laws written for the people to rein in our government should be USED. These ethics codes were written for just this purpose, to complain, and have it taken seriously. Steps taken, and have a (hopefully) impartial board of citizens make a determination. Wonderful.

      Honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised the city council added it to the city code. I cannot believe this is the FIRST TIME it has ever been used.

      I should NOT be the only person filing an ethics complaint. Step up. If you witnessed the events of the Ground Hog Day council meeting (if even through the Clallam Public Eye)and found it to be offensive and not how you think our council members should behave, you too can file a complaint.

      Step up.

      Our local government is not going to fix itself. Nothing is going to happen if we sit back and just mumble to ourselves.

      This is about having a responsive government, not a dysfunctional one.

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  15. It's always a good day when you are delusional.

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