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Two basic political concepts were trashed last night

The Bellingham city council passed the Public Facilities District (PFD) agreement last night. What was passed was 100% what the mayor, last September, told the PFD board to propose. They obeyed. The b

The Bellingham city council passed the Public Facilities District (PFD) agreement last night. What was passed was 100% what the mayor, last September, told the PFD board to propose. They obeyed. The b

• Topics: Bellingham, Business,
The Bellingham city council passed the Public Facilities District (PFD) agreement last night. What was passed was 100% what the mayor, last September, told the PFD board to propose. They obeyed. The board obstructed any public involvement for eight months. Last night's hearing was for political appearance only - as was betrayed by an internal city email. The presenters, including Tony Larson and his excellent slide show, demolished the mayor's lies. But the council again obeyed the mayor. We will now spend $13 million on a hodgepodge of startup projects that all will need $60 to $100 million in bonds or levies to be completed. The only good thing will be upgrading of the Mt Baker Theater which could be done with separate funds.

The city and the PFD board are wide open to lawsuits and a referendum. The illegal processes are so blatant - not following state laws on public meetings - and the recommended projects in violation of what state law allows - museum storage space and the partial funding of a new library - that we could see all PFD funds lost by our city. The blame will rest with the mayor's fat-cat friends on the PFD board who started meeting in secret executive sessions almost before they had organized last year and the mayor who pushed through the process with his usual ability to openly lie and sidestep public process.

Sour grapes? No. The Mt Baker Theater deserves all our support. But the athletic complex deserves as much support. The mayor has allowed those stadiums to fall into disrepair. The Island View Park proposal also has great merit and is a natural for our city.

More than we can afford? No. User fees, Greenways funds and perhaps a modest bond issue could fund all three easily. Use of the PFD funds for the athletic complex - which needs $10 million - would allow us to spend lesser amounts on the other two.

But the PFD is more than we can afford. Most of the PFD total of $13 million will be spent to start up projects that will take millions to complete - another museum and two new theaters. The worst project is a parking garage for city and county employees - an illegal use of the PFD funds. For ten years every planning study has recommended a new parking garage downtown - never for city hall and the court house. One of the mayor's lies is saying studies and ten years of planning support this parking garage. The council gazes at him and votes as he tells them. After three hours of public hearing last night the council did not even discuss the concerns people spoke to. They asked staff a few short questions and voted to pass the PFD agreement.

Two basic political concepts were trashed last night. Public process and fiscal conservancy. It is time that we who have fought for years for true public process join with those who have fought for years for responsible public spending and elect a new mayor and a new city council.

Two basic political concepts were trashed last night

By John ServaisOn May 20, 2003

The Bellingham city council passed the Public Facilities District (PFD) agreement last night. What was passed was 100% what the mayor, last September, told the PFD board to propose. They obeyed. The b

Thank you for visiting Whiner Net

By John ServaisOn May 19, 2003

Welcome back. I thank you for visiting Whiner Net - as it is called around Bellingham City Hall. Even the mayor has endorsed that name in our local government corridors. Seems they check the site ofte

Brett Bonner has announced

By John ServaisOn May 15, 2003

he will run for Mayor of Bellingham. He has resigned his news job at a local radio station. At the end of his last broadcast this morning, the station ran his paid political ad. There will be a cam

False rumor; fiscal responsibility

By John ServaisOn May 14, 2003

One rumor proved false. Scott Walker will not run for mayor. He had heard the rumor also.

Not rumor is the fact that Port Commissioner Ginny Benton and her husband declared bankruptcy in Novemb

City Council support for Clean Water Alliance

By John ServaisOn May 13, 2003

The Bellingham City Council last night voted 5-2 to support the Clean Water Alliance legal action against Whatcom County’s designation of Sudden Valley as an Urban Growth Area (UGA). Grant Deger and B

Web site to check out

By John ServaisOn May 12, 2003

Waterfront Futures for Bellingham - nothing here. This is one of those processes t

Very first PFD meeting finally scheduled

By John ServaisOn May 12, 2003

The Bellingham City Council will finally hold its very first public hearing of the Public Facilities District (PFD) proposals next Monday, May 19, 7 pm at city hall. Really - the

I don’t have the resources the Herald has, and yet . . .

By John ServaisOn May 09, 2003

The Bham Herald admits sitting on - covering up - for months the headline story today about developer Rick Westerop being a Canadian felon and being barred from entry into the US. This was one of the

I know, it is not local stuff,

By John ServaisOn May 05, 2003

but too much fun to resist. Local coming - with a bang.

The Dixie Chicks played to their third sellout crowd last night. One person stood outside with a protest sign. One. A search of Google Ne

It is so sad to see the how small and vindictive

By John ServaisOn May 04, 2003

our government can be. Fox news isn’t telling you about how the US military will not allow a Belgium plane to fly to Iraq with medical equipment and medicines. Why? Oh, come on. Because Belgium oppose

Tis time to focus on local issues

By John ServaisOn May 01, 2003

Elections this fall could bring positive change to Whatcom County and Bellingham. In particular, we need a new Mayor and we need a new Port Commissioner. The challenge is not convincing the voters

The distortions continue

By John ServaisOn Apr 30, 2003

The American media are reporting the basics of the massacre of unarmed Iraqi civilians by our US Army two days ago. Finally. But they are using the lowest reported numbers - not the higher and more re

Casualty reports were fabricated by the US military

By John ServaisOn Apr 29, 2003

and the US news media cooperated in the big lie. As the war ended around mid April, the truth was revealed but you probably did not read it anywhere.. About April 9, the US wounded was listed a

What should we, who opposed the war, now think or feel?

By John ServaisOn Apr 09, 2003

I can write for myself.

We have liberated Iraq. Now we should work to allow them to rule themselves. We should turn their country over to them quickly. We don’t have to teach them anything.

Local news first today

By John ServaisOn Apr 08, 2003

Reliable rumor has it that local radio news guy, Brett Bonner, might run for mayor of Bellingham. If he does, then Mayor Mark is in deep trouble with his reelection bid. Brett knows the local i

I’m splitting up the contents of this blog

By John ServaisOn Apr 06, 2003

between local and national. Today, Local is down a bit.

Huge battle for Baghdad airport raging right now - yet our American “news” media are not reporting it. Our forces have been driven back f

War; anti-Canadian flyers, not geese

By John ServaisOn Apr 03, 2003

War. The rescue of Jessica was a very slick operation. Now we learn that she fought as a true soldier before her capture. This highly technical operation is what we do so well. We applaud the rescuers

Peace Events this week:

By John ServaisOn Apr 02, 2003

Fools for Peace: April 1 - Tuesday. Beginning at 4pm in Maritime Heritage Park. General foolishness. Costumes encouraged: Be Bush or a general, or Commander Wrongway Peachfuzz or whatever strik

At the Bellis Faire parking lot,

By John ServaisOn Apr 02, 2003

flyers are being put on windshields of cars with Canadian license plates that read: “We in America are disappointed in Canadians and your government. You are not welcome in America. Go back where you

The Bellingham Herald has been sold

By John ServaisOn Apr 01, 2003

to a group of local investors in Bellingham. Gannett Corporation will hold a press conference this afternoon in Alexandria, Virginia - Gannett headquarters - to announce this. The reason is unsure, bu

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