North Kitsap Herald Letters to the Editor | Nov. 5
November 5, 2008 · Updated 11:25 AM
This could be a teaching point
I read that people are still struggling with the lettering on the North Kitsap Stadium. In this time of national peril caused by greed, it strikes me that history, pride, and school colors aside, this is a superb teaching moment that is being ignored. Parents and community leaders have here a terrific opportunity to demonstrate the principles of “sharing” that we try to instill in our kids from the time they are toddlers. This is a chance to rise above self for the best interests of the community at large without losing anything, including pride. In fact, if the community can come together to share this playground equally it will have much to be proud of.
Letters on letters
Agreeing to disagree
I respectfully disagree with Art Ellison’s assumption that if you didn’t volunteer on Hansville’s Futures Project you have no right to be unhappy with the Greater Hansville Area Advisory Council (GHAAC). What about all the people who didn’t have time due to work or family commitments? Had long commutes? Worked evenings? Or had health issues that made it difficult for them to participate? Art once explained to me that by not participating, people were assuming the Futures Project would do what was best for them. Sorry Art, again I disagree.
I’m concerned the Futures Project never asked the citizens of Hansville if they wanted this group to seek formal county recognition to make decisions and recommendation on our behalf. But this is what they did, they sought and received the blessing of the county to be the official voice of our community without broad support from the citizens they claim to represent. The GHAAC now has the backing of the county to implement its goals, even if those goals are not supported by the majority of the community.
The Futures Project divided Hansville into specific, and sometimes arbitrary, neighborhoods, each with its own representative. Many representatives were not chosen by the neighborhoods even though GHAAC bylaws state this how they are to be appointed. The pending lawsuit filed by Citizens for Accountable Government in Eglon and Hansville (CAGEH) against GHAAC will reveal how representatives actually obtained their positions. Representatives serve on the GHAAC as long as they wish. When representatives vote, they’re speaking for their neighborhoods, yet have no duty to find out what their neighbors think, even when voting on recommendations that impact infrastructure and people’s daily lives. They don’t even have to identify themselves to the people they represent. My own representative never contacted me or sought my views on anything.
I attend GHAAC meetings and I ask questions, yet it is extremely difficult to get meaningful answers. Steve Bauer was a leader on the Futures Project and instrumental in getting GHAAC official recognition by the county before he was appointed commissioner. This makes it difficult to take concerns about the GHAAC to the county. It’s like complaining about gas prices to OPEC. Mr. Bauer was recently quoted in this newspaper saying he needs advisory councils because “In the absence of the Advisory Councils, dealing with an area is like the blind men examining the elephant.” I would contend that in Hansville he is getting a very narrow view of the elephant based the preferences of a very small number of people.
I understand Art and the GHAAC are frustrated by people who question them as they attempt to implement their vision of Hansville’s future. But I do not believe their vision is based on input from the majority, and they fail to adequately represent and protect the rights of all the citizens of Hansville.
In defense of Val and Adele
Val, I’m coming to your defense! Oh, and to Adele’s, as well!
The editorial page on Oct. 22 was double-barreled, with readers criticizing both our faithful columnists. Most criticism in letters to the editor has berated Adele Ferguson, and said that she ought not to be published. I have often wanted to write in response to that, questioning the good-hearted (liberal) people who want to limit our access to Adele’s observations and wisdom and opinions, as if the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment didn’t exist for her “side.”
I agreed with Val Torrens’ column only once; it occurred a few months ago, and I forget the specific topic, but it was well written and showed a good knowledge of her material. I may have added something to it, but I couldn’t find anything to contradict.
As much as I may disagree with our colorful Val, I wouldn’t dare think that her column shouldn’t appear, except for market forces dictating otherwise. This constitutional republic by law was designed to allow free political speech. In fact, the First Amendment’s background shows that free political speech was specifically intended by the writers. Both our community columnists have a right from God, secured by our Constitution and vigilant Americans, to write and publish.