[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Tukwila Blog nor its staff:]
Unfortunately, there never came a discussion of why Tukwila citizens, after buying themselves a swimming pool, can’t define the policies to regulate it. Apparently, there is distrust of citizens to be able to conduct their own business.
At the most recent meeting of the Metropolitan Park District (pool), the issue of publicly elected Commissioners to replace Ex-officio Tukwila Council members was brought up. After much outcry from Commissioners describing unexplained fear about turning over control to an elected Commission, I waited to hear what the horrors they embrace are, and how the public may help to resolve the Commissioners’ issues. Particularly, since the Tukwila Council had rejected the pool when the opportunity arose for them to step up and make room in the City budget to pay for it. Subsequently, the people created a separate Public Municipal Corporation named the Metropolitan Park District (MPD) and agreed to tax themselves to pay for their pool. Mind you, they legislated an MPD equivalent to Tukwila, a Public Municipal Corporation. In addition, the people appointed Tukwila Councilmembers as ex-officio commissioners to stand in while the people prepared to establish a structure of elected officials to govern their pool. The last step, transferring the Commission for public policy and direction to Commissioners the people elect, awaits the ex officio stand-ins to overcome their fears – whatever the fears may be?
I did hear Councilmember Duffy declare he hasn’t heard from the public yet. He wants to hear from the public – after four years? The thought occurred to me the public cannot help them without hearing the fears Councilmembers exhibit toward having their public voice included in the decision.
Think about this: As you know, our system of government is that elected officials are to deliberate public business in the presence of the people at designated official forums such as Council meetings. Behind the curtain, or retreat outings, or private telephone calls is out of bounds ethically and by the laws defining public business.
To assist Councilmember Duffy with his lament, let me kick off the public discussion about placing the MPD (pool) under an elected commission.
Let’s begin by having each ex-officio Commissioner declare their fears about the change so we may discuss it publicly. Moreover, it has been four years; let us declare that forthwith we want all of our business deliberated before the public in open sessions. It is a matter of conscience and law.
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