About John Servais

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has improved the site, invited other writers to join him, and enabled commenting with verified real names for informative community dialog. He is proud that NW Citizen is now perhaps the oldest political blog in the world.nn

By: John Servais (1051)

Gene Knutson to Retire from Bellingham Council

By
• Topics: Bellingham, Elections,

After 28 years on the Bellingham City Council​, Gene Knutson is retiring. First elected in 1993, he has represented the 2nd Ward, the north east portion of Bellingham, for seven terms. Although he was consistently elected by the 2nd Ward, Gene always believed that he represented all of Bellingham and often met with residents from other parts of the city. He has served as council president six times, including last year.

He recently retired from his 45-year career at Bellingham Cold Storage.

My experience with Gene over the decades is unique of all council members I have ever known. He invariably replied to emails and was willing to answer any questions. We typically met for a coffee two or three times a year, and although we often disagreed on how the city should handle a particular issue, he was always open to discussion. Gene is more conservative than I am, but like the respected conservative Arne Hanna, Gene was always courteous and listened carefully. That said, Gene did lose his temper several times over the decades in council meetings, but he always regretted it and, most importantly, always publicly apologized.

Looking forward, I would like to invite anyone planning to run for Gene’s 2nd Ward seat to let any of us at NWCitizen know.

Jan 13 Correction: Gene has not yet retired from the Cold Storage as planned, but is staying on to help during the pandemic until the end of this year.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Jon Humphrey

Jan 15, 2021

Yes, Gene is a straight shooter and I would describe him as a moderate. This is way better than Dan Hammill who never seems to respond to anything, and Michael Lilliquist who changes his opinion on everything all of the time. I will miss Gene.

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Geoff Middaugh

Jan 16, 2021

Thank you, Gene, for your service.    Always responsive, always respectfully and always straight forward positions.   We need people like you now more than ever.  Good job for Bellingham.  

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Gene Knutson to Retire from Bellingham Council

By John ServaisOn Jan 12, 2021

After 28 years on the Bellingham City Council​, Gene Knutson is retiring. First elected in 1993, he has represented the 2nd Ward, the north east portion of Bellingham, for seven terms. Although [...]

2 comments, most recent 2 days ago

The Same Door - Six Hours Apart

By John ServaisOn Jan 07, 2021

​This is the main entrance to the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. When I saw the photo of this door, closed, yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, January 6, I wondered [...]

8 comments, most recent 6 days ago

Unanswered Questions From Oil Train Wreck at Custer

By John ServaisOn Dec 29, 2020

What was the cause of the oil-train wreck and why are public officials not being transparent and honest with the citizens of Whatcom County? Why, seven days after the accident, [...]

11 comments, most recent 1 week ago

The Big Lie of Republican Environmental Values

By John ServaisOn Nov 21, 2020

This article in today’s Huffington Post, Trump Swiftly Blows Up His One Decent Conservation Action, is both stunning and devastating. Last August, President Trump signed a multi-billion dollar public [...]

2 comments, most recent 1 month ago

The 100 Acre Wood Shakedown

By John ServaisOn Nov 10, 2020

Update: On Wed eve, Nov 11, the forest district commission voted to keep the 2021 levy the same at 28 cents. A follow up article will posted in a few days.​ - - [...]

13 comments, most recent 2 months ago

Ballot Drop Boxes: Auditor Drops Opportunity

By John ServaisOn Oct 31, 2020

Two very large ballot drop boxes are sitting on the floor of a Whatcom County storage room - and have been for weeks. Auditor Diana Bradrick has decided not to [...]

8 comments, most recent 2 months ago

Voting: Thoughts on Some Election Choices

By John ServaisOn Oct 19, 2020

Some issues and candidate races can be difficult to decipher. Who is really progressive and who is pretending? I’ve compared notes with some political junkie friends for this article, [...]

4 comments, most recent 2 months ago

Updates: Cougar Trapping ... Maybe

By John ServaisOn Sep 23, 2020

These are followups to the Sun, Sep 13, article “Cougar Trapping ... Maybe”. - - - - - 4th Update: Wed, Sep 23, 8:30 pm A cougar - probably the same one - got [...]

4 comments, most recent 4 months ago

Cougar Trapping ... Maybe

By John ServaisOn Sep 13, 2020

Normally cougars in Bellingham residential areas are only after deer, especially fawns. Our city is over-run with deer, to the degree that no successful garden is without a tall fence [...]

1 comment, most recent 4 months ago

We interrupt our writing on local issues…

By John ServaisOn Sep 04, 2020

I’m sure some mouthy politician will try to explain or mollify the impact of this photograph. But no human being deserves this. What makes it barbaric is these police [...]

We Have Two Extra Ballot Drop Boxes!!

By John ServaisOn Aug 26, 2020

​Indeed, our county auditor was honest with all the facts she told me, and the facts she wrote to others, including County Executive Satpal Sidhu. Unfortunately, it was an example [...]

6 comments, most recent 4 months ago

Ballot Drop Boxes: More are Needed

By John ServaisOn Aug 22, 2020

Four more ballot drop boxes are needed in Bellingham. They can be quickly built and installed in time for the November general election. Any one of three county government departments [...]

8 comments, most recent 4 months ago

Drop Your Ballot In A Drop Box

By John ServaisOn Aug 01, 2020

The county auditor and the U.S. Postal Service both recommend we not mail our ballots this close to Election Day, this coming Tuesday, August 4. In fact, they recommended not [...]

5 comments, most recent 5 months ago

Racial Listening Sessions…or Tone Deaf?

By John ServaisOn Jul 27, 2020

The Whatcom Human Rights Task Force (WHRTF) has sent an open email letter to Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood and Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu. It is critical of the “Listening [...]

4 comments, most recent 4 months ago

Cougar Inside Bellingham Yard

By John ServaisOn Jul 21, 2020

This beautiful big cat is a large cougar, also called a mountain lion. It was seen prowling a backyard in the city of Bellingham this past weekend and photographed by [...]

6 comments, most recent 3 months ago

Mayor Seth Fleetwood Lacks Understanding of Transparency

By John ServaisOn Jun 10, 2020

Our new mayor, Seth Fleetwood, has trusted the staff he inherited from previous mayor, Kellie Linville, to handle a delicate situation, and it’s not going well. The staff has [...]

11 comments, most recent 7 months ago

Bellingham Herald Reprints Seattle Times Article - But With Edit

By John ServaisOn May 29, 2020

​The graphic to right is an online screenshot of a Seattle Times article from Thursday, May 28. The Bellingham Herald reprinted the Times article today, Friday, May 29, in their morning print [...]

1 comment, most recent 7 months ago

ACLU Files Suit for the Firing of Dr. Ming Lin

By John ServaisOn May 28, 2020

​This morning, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit in Whatcom County Superior Court against PeaceHealth, St Joseph Hospital, and TeamHealth for the wrongful termination of Dr. Ming Lin in March. [...]

2 comments, most recent 7 months ago

WWU - Western - Dislikes Trees

By John ServaisOn May 04, 2020

​In a classic case of “cut down the trees to put up a parking lot,” Western Washington University (WWU) has for decades removed mature trees from its campus very quietly. [...]

9 comments, most recent 8 months ago

PeaceHealth Sets Up Straw Man of Dr Lin

By John ServaisOn Apr 06, 2020

The letter from PeaceHealth that appeared in the Sunday Bellingham Herald attempts to counter the efforts of an unnamed physician, but obviously it’s Dr. Ming Lin. To wit: “And [...]

5 comments, most recent 9 months ago