Let's do the Public's business in public.
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The Fracas Email note. A smoking gun showing the efforts of Western Washington University to avoid
public participation in the planning process on campus. The Growth Management Act (GMA) of Washington requires
that the public be involved early and continuously in planning. WWU in on record as asserting that it is exempt
from the GMA. The public was not allowed to learn and participate for another several months - after all the plans were in place.
Below, George Pierce, the Vice President of Western says "no" to a suggestion from Rick Benner, Planning Director, that just one person from the neighborhood where the parking garage is planned for be invited to the meeting. George suggests that public participation raises a fracas and wants none of it.
The front page story on the Bellingham Herald on Thursday, June 13, 2002 refers to this email when Tom Ashton entered it into the record at yesterday's public hearing on another planned project of Western's to show that Western does not involve the public. VP George Pierce, who was at the meeting, physically confronted Tom after the meeting until Tom told him to back off. George was extremely angry over the email being entered into the record. The Herald did not provide the offending email. NWCitizen does.
You can also download a pdf file of the fracas email and print it for your own use. Perhaps mail a copy to the State Growth Management Board and ask them why they allow this. Or the one of your state representatives or senators and ask why they allow Western to continue to act above the law. WWU will wait and see if anything happens beyond this email being posted at nwcitizen here. If this is all, then they will breath a sigh of relief and continue excluding the public from plan processes. Lets put the pressure on them to obey state laws.
This email was received per a public disclosure request of Tom Ashton and entered
into the record at the Public Hearing for Western's request to vacate S. College Drive
on June 12, 2002.
This page is posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002.