In Praise of Countrymen - Pas de Pays sans Paysans
A brief essay, an homage, to people of the country. Country People.
Podcasts of last night’s forum will be posted online by KGMI about noon tomorrow. I will post links here when they go up. Meanwhile, you might check Sam Taylor’s posted as it happened blog of the forum. And John Watts has a good post on the mayor candidates and his recommendation.
Voting starts tomorrow as thousands of citizens will mail in their ballots before this weekend. So, a few comments on last night’s forum.
Lois Garlick has been an active environmentalist in this county for decades - yet last night Pete Kremen had the gall to suggest he is the better environmentalist, citing an endorsement from an astroturf group. Pete cannot even allow Lois the dignity of being the more environmentally aware of the two of them. Lois has my vote. I want her to get at least 20% and hopefully encourage the county council to stand up to Pete in the future.
Chris Hatch should be elected to the county council. His opponent, Bob Kelly, continues to not show up for candidate forums. Kelly has shown little interest in doing much campaigning at all - apparently depending on the big money donations and the slick advertising that his campaign manager is providing.
Bill Geyer just dominated his debate with Terry Bornemann, as he has at other forums. Bill has a far better knowledge of the issues and some very specific and practical solutions. For instance, Geyer continues to remind us that the Chuckanut Ridge development environmental study will probably require the developer to save - set aside - the wetlands and sensitive areas without the need for us to spend eight or more millions of tax dollars to buy it. Terry said he is not sure what is planned and wants to wait. Dah.
Neighborhoods. Terry was no help to us in Happy Valley when we updated our plan. Despite his talk of preserving our quality of living he has been part of the problem. He is as responsible as anyone for the confused planning process the residents in other neighborhoods are now struggling with. Bill Geyer will bring fairness and clear thinking to our city planning processes. We badly need that.
Louise Bjornson scored strongly against Lilliquist with her question of where has he been in community involvement prior to his filing for her council seat in June. Answer; not involved. Michael tried to sidestep the question but she followed up. Indeed, he had no real answer for his lack of previous public activity. I personally will be voting for Louise because she at least has her heart in the right place. Lilliquist decided to run on a whim and with no experience of city-wide issues. He would spend two years just learning what the city issues are. Besides, he is mainly concerned with his Fairhaven area.
Mayor. There is no way I can summarize this exchange between the Dans. You want to listen to this when KGMI posts the podcasts. Not there yet. (Oct18 - there now) For now—Pike again showed his mastery of the issues. McShane tried to paste two negatives on Pike but Pike responded with full knowledge of both and put them right back at McShane.
The Dans. The differences as I see them. McShane likes to work behind the scenes and feels he knows what is best for us - and many think his ideas and solutions are great. Pike likes to provide a very open process where everyone can participate and we can all follow the development of solutions. McShane is, I think, a great person for the council where he can promote his ideas. But Pike is an administrator who has a proven record of bringing departments, agencies and groups together and finding solutions through an open process.
I am for Pike for these reasons. I am for open government and have worked for decades for that in our county, port and city. In Pike we have a rare opportunity to elect an outstanding mayor. Some people believe in an elite with supposedly better visions for our future and they have a hard time with open processes and open discussion of issues. They have tried repeatedly to smear Pike with stories that continue to prove false. We should not believe the latest ones we read or hear. Pike is the real thing and he can bring his solid administrative skills to benefit all of us in Bellingham. He needs our votes.
Sam Taylor has a lengthy post on last night’s forum. It is a long but fun read. He posted it live during the forum so there are honest moments in it as he tries to glean the important things being said from the mundane.