About Tip Johnson

Tip Johnson is a longtime citizen interest advocate with a record of public achievement projects for good government and the environment. A lifelong student of government, Tip served two terms on the Bellingham City Council and has worked on many community boards and committees. He travelled with the Federal Transit Administration and Department of Commerce on mass transit trade missions in SE Asia and Africa before settling down to focus on keeping public interests at the fore of local government and the course of growth and development.

By: Tip Johnson (174)

Save the Trails Referendum Falls Short

A summary of the Douglas Avenue right-of-way petition effort.

A summary of the Douglas Avenue right-of-way petition effort.

By

At this writing we have 2,210 signatures in hand, short of the 2,475 required. I have word of a few more sheets straggling in but have advised that there is no hurry. We will not be submitting the signatures for referendum. Instead, we will process them into an advisory submission to the council so they can see where their constituents stand on this issue.

I want to thank the many citizens who rose to the occasion to sign the petition and gather signatures. We were up against some incredible odds. I have qualified two other referenda in the past, one for a similar right-of-way scam around Hoag’s Pond, and another seeking to overturn freebie water rates for Georgia-Pacific. Neither was beset by such overwhelming obstacles.

City Hall's timing was strategic, forcing the referendum to proceed in the midst of summer vacations and back to school plans. The mayor squandered weeks by not being forthright about his intentions. But for that, we would clearly have succeeded, despite the unprecedented pandemic and surging variant that kept a lot of otherwise civic minded folk at home and away from crowds. Many petitions arrived with only two or three signatures from the same household. 

Given these extreme circumstances, we did quite a remarkable job. Judging by the enthusiasm and remarks of signatories, we have engaged the public’s interest and there will be support moving forward as we work to shape city policy on undeveloped right-of-ways.

And don’t worry, we’re not done here yet. We’ll continue to work to protect this trail and other potential future trails. Stay tuned for a more thoroughgoing  dissection of pandemic petitioning in the age of infill under Mayor Fleetwood’s administration.

Thanks again, everyone!

About Tip Johnson

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 11, 2008

Tip Johnson is a longtime citizen interest advocate with a record of public achievement projects for good government and the environment. A lifelong student of government, Tip served two terms [...]

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Save the Trails Referendum Falls Short

By Tip JohnsonOn Sep 09, 2021

A summary of the Douglas Avenue right-of-way petition effort.

SAVE THE TRAILS! STAY SAFE. GET ONLINE. GET IT DONE!

By Tip JohnsonOn Aug 27, 2021

The Save the Trails Referendum goes into Pandemic Mode

3 comments, most recent 2 months ago

The Scheme to Turn Green-Spaces into $Green

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Neighborhoods beware: City Hall is selling our public rights. Your neighborhood could be next.

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A call for citizen action

By Tip JohnsonOn Aug 13, 2021

This is the Save the Trails Referendum Page

3 comments, most recent 3 months ago

City Throws Down the Gauntlet

By Tip JohnsonOn Aug 09, 2021

But ever so s_l_o_w_l_y

2 comments, most recent 3 months ago

Our Public Property Rights For Sale - Cheap!

By Tip JohnsonOn Jul 27, 2021

Preserve public property rights & save the trail

14 comments, most recent 3 months ago

Massive Excavation in Archeological Zone Permitted by City Hall

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The city granted building permits while the Planning Department knew this was a state historical Indian village site.

2 comments, most recent 3 months ago

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5 comments, most recent 4 months ago

Will City Double-Down to Kill Public Trail?

By Tip JohnsonOn Jan 24, 2021

Tip Johnson makes the case that the City’s cozy relations with developers and its neighborhoods-be-damned attitude is costing us all.

3 comments, most recent 10 months ago

“Culture of Fear” at Western

By Tip JohnsonOn Dec 29, 2020

WWU, Western Washington University has a “Culture of Fear”. No, NW Citizen is not saying that - the Seattle Times is.

Dirty Deal at Douglas and 21st

By Tip JohnsonOn Dec 02, 2020

Proposed Elimination of the Douglas Avenue Trail

10 comments, most recent 11 months ago

Sitting on a Gold Mine?

By Tip JohnsonOn Feb 09, 2020

The best kept secret in the west?

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Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

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An easy test for candidate selection

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Council Rebukes Justice Advocates and Voters

1 comment, most recent 1 year ago

The Jail - Pentagon Hammers and Brick Walls

By Tip JohnsonOn Oct 25, 2019

A million here and a million there, pretty soon you are talking real money

1 comment, most recent 2 years ago

Seth Fleetwood for Mayor

By Tip JohnsonOn Oct 15, 2019

Electoral Perspective from a long-time neighborhood advocate

8 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Whatcom Justice Reform: The Big Fib

By Tip JohnsonOn Sep 30, 2019

When voting for sheriff implies structural change

2 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Of Broken Roads and Re-invented Wheels

By Tip JohnsonOn Jan 18, 2019

Re-imagining Bellingham’s Waterfront

14 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Breaking News: City Council Changes

By Tip JohnsonOn Sep 01, 2018

City Council member Roxanne Murphy resigns…on Facebook

1 comment, most recent 3 years ago