First off there were less than 100 people at this meeting, so much for community involvement…
I am going to sound like I am flip flopping on a few candidates but bear with me, I did show up, I did sit, stay & listen.
I met with the contender for the upcoming Everett School district position, Mary Ann Elbert, Jackie Minchew, Drew Nielson, Brenda Stonecipher, & Scott Bader. I sought out Mr Nielson & Ms Stonecipher afterwards to apologize to them for my misgivings about them both.
The Everett Port Commissioner’s Candidates were mildly interesting, but far from impressive, Tom Stiger V Mark Wolken. Wolken is the current commissioner by default, definitely a politician, he capitalized on the great groovy stuff but Stiger actually told the truth & explained what the impact on all of us was & would or could be if things didn’t shape up. Stiger doesn’t seem to be a people person, not one for the blah blah blah, but he will get the job done, make the hard decisions, & probably take the crap for it. Wolken seemed to have all the numbers, & stats driven to make things look great but reality seemed to be more of Stigers focus.
There is one seat available for the Everett School Board, Pam LeSesne Vs. Mary Ann Elbert. Mary Elbert is a mom with children in the school district who is running because she can’t stand the way things are being run or how they are going. She attended many of the meetings & somehow came to the conclusion that the only way to help or change things is to get involved, but she surprisingly aware of the issues, & has a lot of good ideas to get things moving, & possesses the common sense to implement her ideas. Ms LeSense had a “speech” it did not correspond to the questions asked but she continued with the “speech” none of her answers seemed to be well thought out or grounded, just rehearsed. That was very sad, but indicative of the climate of the school board to this day, just blowing your own horn without listening, without hearing or even paying attention. Seriously it was astounding how much she just talked & talked & talked about what she thought, but didn’t even have the common courtesy to address the questions asked of her & even if she attempted to it always went back to her campaign rhetoric. My grandchildren are subject to this board & my daughter in law, my son & their friends will all go for Elbert, even if she is not a finely tuned “politician” she is a concerened parent who will tackle the issues with common sense & dignity in her thoughts concerning others.
The Everett City Council Candidates Forum. Now here is where we will see me flip flop. It also solidified my thoughts on the other 2 candidates.
Here are my picks for City Council 2011
Drew Nielson Vs. Erv Hogland, both good candidates but I was being a little fly on the wall & found out 2 very interesting things about Mr Nielson, 1) He stepped down as president or vice president of the council because he couldn’t stomach looking like he supported decisions being made by the Council as a whole, what exactly that was I couldn’t hear but it meant that he opted out of DOUBLING his wages as a council member for his beliefs. 2) I also found out about a land deal he went toe to toe with the council on, he lost but he still stood up for it. What that meant to me is that he wasn’t anyone’s patsy & made decisions based on his conscience, not what was popular. So even if I NEVER agree with a decision that he makes I will respect the fact that he will stand up for his beliefs & that deserves unbridled respect. I did check & Mr Nielson did in fact step down as the Vice President, which would’ve doubled his wages as a city council member. Now all I have to do is figure out what the issue was. I might add that he was very compelling & actually answered questions clearly & withouta lot of double talk. Erv Hoglund seemed a good candidate & if he doesn’t win this year I really hope he makes a go for it next year, he is personable & also knows the issues. I have been all about “Out with the old & in with the new” but on this I think we need someone who can actually keep the rest of the council in check.
Brenda Stonecipher Vs. Scott Bader I met both of the Candidates here, Scott at first because he was in the crowd meeting people & asking questions about what people wanted. He is a good candidate & again if he doesn’t win this year I pray we’ll see him back next year. Brenda was a spitfire, was concise & answered questions clearly & honestly. There was a question about a vote for a Historic Overlay situation that her & Nielson voted against, they were the only two who stood up for the vote, but what floored me is she was brutally honest about why she didn’t vote with the council, it may have been political suicide according to some o the candidates who were talking later, (the ones she voted against) but she out & out said she didn’t vote on it because she wasn’t interested in voting for someone who wanted a few political favors returned. Something about a house on 11th street, she also said how sad she was that it had lost & that the house was going to be moved to make way for a much bigger house. I wish to God I would’ve had my camera so you could’ve all seen the look on Affholter & Gibson’s face when she said that, I thought they were going to get up & club her like a baby seal!!! So here we go with someone who won’t go for the status quo, who is upset about the rules only applying to citizens unless they have the money to buy the vote or the clout to change the rules. This is someone we need to KEEP, seriously, I told her we need to nail her & Nielson down to the council floor & just blow out the rest of the trash. I think that she could be a much more dynamic force if we got rid of the “Good Old Boys” of the Everett City Council. Oh & here is the bonus, she has some very good ideas on how to revitalize the city, downtown especially, she has a good grasp on issues with transportation & with what the actual citizens want & need
Shannon Affholter Vs. Jackie Minchew, that was the comedy portion of the evening, I don’t mean funny Ha Ha I mean “really?” Okay so Jackie was funny, but Shannon went on with his slapstick about him & his wife having the same first name, really who cares, it makes as much sense as me saying I am autistic can I be President? I listened very carefully to all of their responses, Shannon seemed to be so out of touch with any of the real issues that he sounded impotent at best, inept at worst, but you have to ask yourself why he ran again when he said he wouldn’t… Well it had something to do with a meeting with Mike Hope & the state of the republican party, the boys of the council talked him into staying because he can be counted on to vote THEIR way. I know believe more firmly than ever that Mr Minchew has a realistic grasp on what matters to the real people of Everett, the tax payers & what they need & I can guarantee you he will fight tooth & nail to get it for them, again it wont be any business as usual in Everett with him around, no matter what happens if we have Minchew, Stonecipher & Nielson at the roundtable we will at least know that the citizens have half a chance of making it out alive with a few bucks in their pockets
Ron Gipson Vs. June Robinson. Pam LeSense, Shannon Affholter & Ron Gipson MUST have the same speech writers. Mr Gipson had no platform except for the same tired garbage he has always spewed. He claims to be for the little man, the common man, but was so out of touch with any REAL issues that anyone is dealing with that it was almost comical, almost. While the other candidates were talking all he did is roll his eyes & stare at the ceiling, except for when Ms Stonecipher made the comment about political favors, the rest of the time he was studying the ceiling looking very bored. I just hope te reporters that were there got soe good pix of him staring at the ceiling so the voters can understand just how bored he is of us. He was very adept at avoiding the issues though or maybe he was just too bored to answer the questions. Although he did point out that he brings up what citizens tell him at Council meetings, which is true, he brings it up but never does anything about it… You know like the “important stuff, there is a gap in so & so’s sidewalk, someone else wants a bigger bike trail, you know, that kind of stuff. June Robinson was deliberately concise with her answers, she gave them careful consideration, she answered honestly & seemed to have a better grasp than most of the candidates of the real issues that are faced by the citizens every day, real people, not the Harvard grads, but the working class families, her involvement in the community in the non-profit sector has given her an understanding & empathy for the issues we face every day. It will be a very sad turn of events for the working class citizens if they don’t elect her, very sad.
So no one got to ask the candidates any questions, you got to write some down & the neighborhood association picked & chose which ones to ask. So there was no real give & take with the citizens & the candidates, but we did get a chance to see how they stood on certain issues & that was important.
So my question was never answered: How do you justify spending a quarter to half a million dollars to prosecute a misdemeanor when there is a one million dollar shortfall & why has no one investigated the fact that my animals disappeared after they were taken from me for 7 hours & when they got to the shelter they were bleeding from their rectum, unable to walk, hypothermic, bloody, missing teeth, & having seizures…