Ethics of Trespassing
Reading the local blogosphere today, after a nice little Oregon vacation sans computer, it appears to me that Whatcom County Council Member Carl Weimer has made a clear lapse in judgment first by trespassing on private property and then a second lapse by publishing his lapse for all of the world to read. I find it a little unclear as to whether his blog called carl votes, is an official or personal endeavor. He lists his official CWeimer@co.whatcom.wa.us address for the contact, but delves into matters from a more personal angle, but lists another site as My County Council Website, yet it is actually a www.voteweimer.com address and reads more like an Elect Carl Weimer website. It’s confusing.
Official or not, on the carl votes site, Councilman Wiemer has recently written two posts outlining some goings on out at the proposed SSA GateWay terminal site on Cherry Point. The first post Cherry Point – Full Disclosure describes how he, presumably while innocentlywalking his dogs, ran across what he felt was improper work being done at the SSA site and the second post Cherry Point Clearing Questions Asked describe his subsequent questioning of Sam Ryan, Director of Whatcom County Planning and Development Service regarding what Councilman Weimer felt were code violations.
Here are a few things that Wally wonders:
- What is SSA doing on the site and is it legal?
- What is Carl Weimer doing on the site and is it legal?
- Does anyone besides myself question the ethics of a sitting council member trespassing to obtain information regarding a current issue on the Whatcom County Councils agenda?
First, I think it is a valid question to ask if what SSA is doing on their land is legal and oddly enough the county has a procedure and a form to legally get the process started for anyone with concerns. Also oddly enough the form bears the name of one Sam Ryan, the same person Carl Weimer addressed his inquiry. Did Councilman Weimer skip the form? And was his report processed in the same manner as other reports?
Second, can anyone walk around the SSA site or any other piece of private property snapping pictures, measuring, and documenting without the owners permission or is it just County Councilman Wiemer who feels he is above privacy rules? And if you read his blog and bought into his story about him just happening upon this while walking his dog on a county road, then you are either blind or gullible. Really, how many people take measuring tapes along when they walk their dog? Or believe he didn’t leave county roads even though he is pictured on what is obviously not a county road?
And lastly I think Carl Weimer has unethically used his position on the council, what I see as blatant trespassing, and his maybe official or maybe not blog to attempt to influence the outcome of an issue that is of concern to everyone in Whatcom County. Here’s a link to the Whatcom County Ethics Commission. Tell them Wally sent you.