Bellingham & PublicDisclosure

Home Contents Info Links Correspondents ©

Mayor Mark Asmundson's Administration AdmitsViolating Law

It doesn't happen often. The city of Bellingham PlanningDepartment today admitted it has been violating the State PublicDisclosure Law on a deliberate basis since September 2. They havewithheld the Draft Happy Valley Neighborhood Plan from residents ofthe neighborhood while making it available to Planners at WWU for 7weeks.

The question is: Did Mayor Mark withhold the plan hoping itwould not become public until after the election? Mayor Mark wasupset that I might suggest his administration was corrupt. Well, hereis yet another example. It is a sad comment that Patricia Decker, thePlanning Director, did not have the courage to put her signature atthe bottom of the letter. Instead, a junior planning departmentmember was made to swing in the wind.

It took a formal Public Disclosure request from myself, JohnServais, to pry the document from the city. It then took two moreweeks of emails to the city to get them to cough up additionaldocuments between the city and WWU. See end of this post for what Ithink is still being illegally withheld.

Mayor Mark is campaigning on his supposed openness to citizenparticipation and his good relations with neighborhoods. It is myrepeated experience that the city - under Mark's direction -routinely violates the public disclosure laws of Washington State. Ittook considerable effort to nail them on this one. Mark prefers toput deals together behind closed doors - away from citizens. Thisis just anothe example of this practice.

Below are copies of the letter distributed by courier to severalHappy Valley neighborhood planning leaders today - homeowners whohave tried to work in good faith with the city for the last year. Thecity is now trying to put the spin of "mistake" on this calculatedwithholding of public documents.

You can click on each link to read the letters. Click the 'Back'key to return to this page.

Click to read Page 1 of theCity letter.

Click to read Page 2 of theCity letter.

We in Happy Valley are concerned about what the city isplanning for our neighborhood. Our last meeting with the planningdepartment staff was June 24. At that time, we were told the draftplan would be available in August and a neighborhood meeting would beheld in early September to review the draft. Instead, four monthslater we are finally getting a look at the plan - after dragging itfrom the city. The city has planned our first meeting for after theelection.

This plan raises many questions. We neighbors have scheduled ourown meeting for tomorrow, Saturday October 30, at Our Savior'sLutheran Church to go over this plan. Time is 10 am. Emails have goneout to many residents. We will plan further meetings on our own attomorrow's meeting.

Now the question is: Where is the cover letter from the city toWWU that accommodated the plan to WWU? This letter has not beendisclosed - yet it was requested. Surely it exists? This is a publicdocument. We'll let you know what the answer is.

Have you voted yet? If not, vote for Russ Weston. He is anhonest fellow. He;ll make a good mayor. And wee need that.


Home Contents Info Links Correspondents ©