The council sat behind their three-foot-high protective walls while some of the public (those in non-virtual attendance) stood single file behind the podium. The wall no longer seems redundant as …
The council sat behind their three-foot-high protective walls while some of the public (those in non-virtual attendance) stood single file behind the podium. The wall no longer seems redundant as each citizen took aim, one by one spitting vitriol and venom at Port Townsend’s leadership for their indecision or at the very least, their over-consideration of possible solutions to the problems vexing us all.
The too-often spectacle of our City Council meetings makes it clear why most residents aren’t clamoring to sign-up for our local government.
Running for this office, one would hope, stirs from a sense of duty, of civic pride. But in moments of despair I wonder if one must be either a narcissist or masochist to seek election in Port Townsend.
Why else would someone take on this seemingly thankless job?
These crisp fall evenings, with their musky-sweet smell of leaves rotting on the sidewalk, fill the senses as you walk Port Townsend’s crumbling sidewalks. You’ve spent your last eight hours earning a living, no easy task in the this town’s economy.
And with the day nearing its end you hear the cooing of babies masked lightly by the ocean, lapping up water onto the beach. The seagulls, thank the heavens, have retreated.
But instead of enjoying the autumnal evening, savoring dinner and spending quality time with your friends and family, you’re going to put in five hours of being flogged in a poorly ventilated room with your fellow councilmen, all while trying to make your city a better place.
Since taking their oaths at the beginning of this year our council has faced little more than the wrath of their constituents for their inability to take action on a number of issues: The Cherry Street Project (affordable housing), the Port Townsend Public Golf Course, city streets and sidewalks, and the list goes on.
If only someone had remembered to bring a their magic wand. This council, and some prior, appears to be bailing water while patching the ship.
The Cherry Street concept was a 2016 attempt at affordable housing in Port Townsend.
After seven years of study, the project remains on stilts while the city racked up nearly $2 million in consultant fees for the taxpayers.
Why? In a word, standards.
This barged Canadian complex didn’t meet our standards. If only we had spent an ounce of that money on an inspection.
Meanwhile, our publicly-subsidized, dilapidated-golf course will continue to be a golf course. After an initial investment nearing $1.2 million to bring it to a “standard to attract more visits and become a viable Golf Course,” the city website states, the re-investment will have just begun. Pickleball courts, walking trails, an amphitheater, even bird sanctuaries have made the list of solutions which appear to be in search of a problem. And these projects are