Hasta la Bye Bye former Mayor Pike

When I heard the news that the Transportation Safety Coalition had turned in around 7,000 signatures for an initiative to let voters decide if they want traffic cameras in Bellingham, I knew we could start waving hasta la bye bye to Mayor Dan Pike.   Even with high kickout rates as signatures are verified, 7,000 is hopefully a lot more than the 3,880 needed and 7,000 is a referendum on Dan Pike and the current City Council of Bellingham.

When Dan Pike was Mayor of Bellingham he had a chance to hold an open forum and listen to peoples concerns about the cameras.  He didn’t.  As signatures mounted during the petition drive, he could have postponed signing the contract with ATS.  He didn’t.   Through the whole process he could have represented the interests of the people of Bellingham.  He didn’t.   Dan Pike may legally be the Mayor, but in reality, he isn’t.

From where I stand in Ferndale I see the people of Bellingham, left, right and in the middle looking for leadership in the next election, not in the current mayors office.  Hasta la bye bye.

Where there’s a Dan, there’s a way

Word around town is that Mayor Dan Pike of Bellingham is looking again/still to raise taxes.  I first read the announcement in the Herald blogs,

Mayor Dan Pike wants the city to form a citywide Transportation Benefit District and increase the sales tax by two-tenths of 1 percent, which would generate about $3.8 million a year.

He’s already talked with City Council members who like the idea, but the council is scheduled for formally discuss the proposal for the first time on Monday, June 7.

…He’d like to see money go toward annual repaving, building bike lanes and sidewalks and, through a contract with WTA, providing bus service that would otherwise be cut.

Read more: http://blogs.bellinghamherald.com/traffic/?p=3863#ixzz0pzBhzCx7

and then saw on Facebook that he was going to be on KGMI’s PM Bellingham to peddle his new tax scheme. 

KGMI News/Talk 790  Ready for higher sales taxes in Bellingham? Mayor Dan Pike is proposing an increase to pay for transportation projects. Would you vote for such an increase?

Wasn’t it just a month or so ago that the people of Whatcom County told WTA Board member Dan Pike that they weren’t willing to spend this same amount?   Now we have Mayor Dan Pike asking the people of Bellingham for the same amount.  Is it a coincidence that it will take the exact same amount to improve transportation issues in Bellingham or is it that the WTA vote was used as a poll to see how much the people of Bellingham would cough up without choking?  

If I lived in Bellingham that’d be the question on my mind.  Do we need this, or is it Mayor Dan Pike who wants it, and he’ll find a way?

I won’t get to vote on this because I live outside of Bellingham.   However those of us who live outside of  Bellingham should have the same concerns, because we likely spend a good portion of our money in Bellingham where we will be paying this tax.  Consider trips to Costco, Walmart, Fairhaven, Bellis Fair, go see a movie, buy a car, do business in town?  The people of Bellingham will be voting on this tax, but given the commercial layout of the county we will all share in the paying.  

So if this vote were to go through, Mayor Pike would essentially get a good portion of the taxes that he was just denied in the recent WTA vote.  He also gets to contract with WTA to provide additional bus service in Bellingham and gets extra for other transportation related spending within the city.   I wonder if as both a WTA board member and the Mayor of Bellingham, he will withdraw himself from contract dealings with himself? 

Oh, and let’s not forget that whether we are in Bellingham or not, as State & Federal taxpayers we foot the bill for new WTA buses that get worn out in the City of Bellingham.  

I haven’t decided whether this is shrewd, conniving of both?   Hopefully it won’t matter as much as people awake to the fact that so many of the politicians in office are looking for too many ways to spend and too few ways to save. 

Isn’t it time to give tax increases a rest?

Time to Vote!

Everyone should have their ballots by now so it’s time to draw a few lines using either blue or black ink; no felt tips or pencils.   Here’s how I feel about some of the issues and candidates around here that I’ll be using to guide my votes.  Hope you find this to be useful.

There are no complicated rankings nor ratings here;  Smile are good and hence my current favorite, Sad smile are bad and I currently wouldn’t consider voting for them.

Smile Initiative 1125 – YES
This measure would prohibit the use of motor vehicle fund revenue and vehicle toll revenue for non-transportation purposes, and require that road and bridge tolls be set by the legislature and be project-specific.

Sad smile Initiative 1163 – NO
I-1163 concerns long-term care workers and services for elderly and disabled people. Hidden agenda to unionize long-term care workers.

Smile Initiative 1183 – YES
This measure would close state liquor stores and sell their assets; license private parties to sell and distribute spirits; set license fees based on sales; regulate licensees; and change regulation of wine distribution.

Smile SJR 8205 – APPROVED
This amendment would remove a conflicting provision from the state constitution regarding the length of time a voter must reside in Washington to vote for president and vice-president.

Smile SJR 8206 – APPROVED
This amendment will require the legislature to transfer additional moneys to the rainy day account when the state has received “extraordinary revenue growth.”

Smile Smile Smile City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2011-1 – YES
This measure will require the removal of any automated cameras used to issue tickets.

Sad smile Whatcom County Charter Amendment No. 1 – NO
I’m going with NO vote on this. Not because I don’t think the council deserves to have their salaries reviewed, but because there was some funny business about why it’s on the ballot and how it effects the tie between what the County executive can make in relation to part time council members.  I don’t think voters have the full correct information on this one, fix it and I might vote for this next time around.

Ferndale Mayor

Taxation without representation was the word of the day in 1776, but taxation without representation lives on here for those of us outside the city limits of Ferndale.  We are subject to the taxes and rates established by the Ferndale government, yet we don’t get to vote for our representation.  So the most I can get is to throw my 2 cents out on the web.

  • Sad smileSad smile Gary Jensen – If we talk about the legacy of debt our nation is leaving for our children, we can’t  ignore the legacy of local debt that Gary Jensen is creating for the children of Ferndale.   The last number I heard was around $20,000,000 in debt with more projects on the books to be started.   And to make matters worse Mayor Jensen is using two practices that I consider unethical.  1st is what he calls councilmanic bonding which is away to borrow money for projects without having to go to the voters, a process that may be necessary in emergency situations, but not to widen streets, build parks, etc.  Second practice is the practice of using interfund loans as a sort of down payment to get non-related projects started.
  • Smile Lloyd Zimmerman – The smile here may just be a whiplash effect as I quit thinking about Mayor Jensen, but really I’m happy just that there is an alternative to him.

 

Whatcom County Executive

Updated – 9/7/11
So I anticipated that the hate Doug Ericksen portion of David Stalheim supporters would gravitate towards Jack Louws making this race interesting and possibly tough for Doug Ericksen to win.  I didn’t anticipate that David Stalheim would be endorsing his former opponent, but according to his FB page he apparently is doing so after a meeting with Jack Louws.
This endorsement clearly tips things in Doug Ericksen’s favor because what ever understanding or deal was made in the Stalheim/Louws meeting hacks right into the conservative portion of Jack Louws supporters and positioning him as Democratic Party middle/left candidate.
I wonder if Doug Ericksen send David Stalheim a thank you note.

  • Sad smileJack Louws – I’ve heard good things about him and a lot of people I know and respect favor him.  He also has a good balance of private and public employment, but right now its difficult to think of a better candidate than Sen. Ericksen.  As the election season has progressed, I’ve also found Jack Louws to have more of a mediator feel rather than a leader who I’d want to have as the top spot in our county.  Post primary I’ve changed Jack Louws to a frowny as I see more of what a facilitator rather than leader he is.   Happily embracing the backers of David Stalheim also makes me wonder how he will honestly evaluate the SSA marine terminal issue when their collective opinion is to leave coal in the ground.
  • Smile Doug Ericksen – Doug has represented us well for years in Olympia and I’m all for him now working at home to make this a better area to live.
  • Tom Anderson – Don’t know anything at this point.
  • Sad smile David Stalheim – So in the last 4-5 years he left a community development job for the city of Wenatchee, for a community development job for the city of Ashland, which he left for a job as Whatcom County Planning Director, which he left for a job with the City of Bellingham as Planning & Community Development director and shortly thereafter sues his former employer Whatcom County for problems with their planning.  Now he want’s to quit with Bellingham to become the executive of the county he is suing?  ROFLMAO, oh and no.


Whatcom County Council District 1, Position B

  • Smile Tony Larson – I find Tony to be an independent, level headed guy who has given a lot to this community.  I see him asking all the right questions rather than just rubber stamping status quo.    I supported him before and especially after seeing him in action, I’ll do it again.
  • Sad smile Pete Kremen  – At first I wondered why Pete Kremen was running for any political office after declining to go after another term in the executive seat.   But today I found my answer; he’s a politician and that’s what politicians do, they run for office.  How do I know that he is a politician?  Nobody but a true politician would stand, as Pete Kremen did, in front of the local GOP group proclaiming his conservative leaning principles and saying he would represent us, then turn and hire Riley Sweeney, a severely left listing officer from the Whatcom Democrats to run his campaign.  Sorry Mr. Kremen, I value principles over politics so no smiley for you.  And recently this Pete Kremen/Steve Oliver situation has confirmed him as a NO vote.


Whatcom County Council District 2, Position B

  • Smile Sam Crawford – I like what I see of his values and he has thus far shown he is more than up to the challenges of the position he has had for more than a few years.  He’s a keeper.
  • Sad smile Christina Maginnis – Our county already throws way too much of our money towards stormwater issues and Lake Whatcom without much in the way of results, so having a DOE water quality expert on the council seems a bit like voting to have someone beat your head against a wall.  She did show her overall intelligence at the Tea Party forum, but she also showed her tendencies toward bigger and more controlling government.


Whatcom County Council District 3, Position B

  • Smile Barbara Brenner – I like watching her on the council because like Tony Larson, she is always asking good questions.  I don’t get the impression from her that she has already made up her mind on things, like I do from a couple of the other council members.
  • Sad smile Alan Black – I hadn’t put much effort yet researching this race yet and after last nights forum I know all that I need to know.   Alan Black was vague, unfocused, misunderstood questions, was over the top pro-unions, and was unquestionably for red light cameras.


Whatcom County Treasurer

  • Smile Brian Smith –  So I had a chance to meet Brian today and I can report that the good things I had heard were all true.   His qualifications to handle county finances were definitely there and he struck me as someone who would take his duty as a servant to the people of Whatcom County very seriously.
  • Sad smile Steven Oliver – Well, I haven’t met our current treasurer either, but I’ve suspected in the past, that he was playing politics while at work and I just can’t vote for someone to watch the bank accounts that I have a shady/slippery feeling about.  And recently this Pete Kremen/Steve Oliver situation has confirmed him as a NO vote.


Whatcom County Auditor

  • Sad smile J. Lynne Walker  – The auditors office is one where non-partisanship is a must, but J. Lynne Walkers endorsements is a list the areas most progressive left leaders.   And you don’t read much about her having been both campaign manager and legislative aid to Kelli Linville, former Democrat legislator and most likely the next mayor of Bellingham.  I’m more than a little dubious that she will be able to remain impartial.
  • Smile Debbie Adelstein – On the other hand Debbie Adelstein has remained centered and somewhat unfettered by local politics, which is a good place to be as the county’s impartial auditor.  She is endorsed by a wide cross section of  people including our soon to be former Auditor Shirley Forslof.


Whatcom County Sheriff

  • Steve Harris – perhaps someday he’ll have half the experience of Sherriff Elfo.
  • Bob Taylor – perhaps someday he’ll half the experience also.
  • Smile Bill Elfo – What can I say, we live in a county that borders another nation and there is a lot of potential for crimes due to our location.   He’s been the tough but fair Sheriff that we need.


Bellingham Mayor

I don’t live in Bellingham, but Bellingham is such a large part of Whatcom County that what happens there has significant effects on all of us.  If they raise taxes we pay when we shop.  The more unfriendly they make it for people to live and work in the city, the more sprawl is encouraged.

  • Sad smile Kelli Linville – She lost her 42nd district State Rep gig to Vince Buys primarily due to her over spending issues.  I haven’t heard that she has mended her ways, so I don’t see supporting her doing the same in Bellingham.  If Bellingham over spends like our state has for the last few decades, the money will be coming out or your pocket whether you live in Bellingham or not.
  • Sad smile Dan Pike – Too bad I couldn’t bold the frowny.   As I’ve brought up numerous times here in this blog, Dan Pike has such a gift for taking money away from others that he really had only two career paths, criminal or liberal leaning politician.  I’ve never heard of him passing on a chance to take from taxpayers, so there is no way in Hellingbam that I’d give him an ounce of support.
  • Clayton Petree – Ok, he rides a bike, but so does the current mayor, so no decision yet.  Much more to learn here.
  • Steve Moore – don’t know much yet.


 

Updated: Cold War Has Come Home to Roost

And it looks like the socialist fowl will be roosting in Bellingham’s Maritime Heritage Park. The group Occupy Bellingham has announced its plan for a permanent occupation encampment beginning tomorrow.?? You might ask as I did if this is legal?? The answer is well sort of legal maybe.

City of Bellingham Municipal Code

Title 8 PARKS, CEMETERIES, AND PUBLIC PLACES
Chapter 04 GENERAL REGULATIONS

8.04.080 – OVERNIGHT CAMPING

A. Overnight camping is prohibited on park property except by written permission of the Director of Parks and Recreation.
B. A violation of this section is a civil infraction.
[Ord. 10612 ?2, 1995]

 

So if they did received written permission, then yes it is legal to camp overnight.?? But did they get permission to take up permanent residency at the park?? And is that even possible or is there a time limit on events?

list

<Click Image for Complete list>

Image & information from http://occupy-bellingham.org.

I did check another section of the City of Bellingham code and found that most of what is planned, including fires, could be legal, but again only with proper permission obtained “by?submitting a written application to the office of the Director of Parks and Recreation at least 10 days in advance of the date of intended use.”

I still didn?t find anything that allows permanent residency in the park by groups so their plan may have some legal kinks.? However legal kinks may not be a problem because Kelli Linville, who seems a shoe in as Bellingham?s next mayor, and City Council member Terry Bornemann were both smiling for the camera as they marched with the Occupy Bellingham a few weeks ago.

 

So?I?m kind of doubting there will be legal issues with the city, but the Occupy Group was also looking for ?VOLUNTEERS!! (Especially first aid & Legal!)? Your guess is as good as mine about what they have planned that might require first aid and a lawyer.? I do wonder though, when push comes to shove, which side Kelli Linville & Terry Bornemann will be on??? And as it?s been almost a tradition for the City of Bellingham to swoon over anyone involved with our local socialist groups, will this have to change if things turn south, the way they have in other occupied cities?? Will the City of Bellingham have to grow up?

Updated 10/29/11

From a Bellingham Herald article today,

Though Bellingham Parks and Recreation Interim Director Leslie Bryson did not give approval for the overnight camping, the city said it is being flexible with the campers in hopes of keeping costs down and ensuring safety. City officials have given the campers guidelines to follow about noise, sanitation, fires and food service.

I guess this clears up any question regarding the legality of the encampment in a Bellingham park; They are in violation of a Bellingham Municipal code, but the city has chosen not to enforce this rule in this case. ?Comments on their UStream confirms that police had avoided the area during the first night and that park officials came by, but didn’t ask them to leave ?Their UStream also showed two other admirable, yet I think illegal, things going on: ?they have landscaped the part with bark to cut down on mud and they are processing grey water and dumping watering plants in park. ? Food does not appear to be in issue with much apparently being donated, but on the less than admirable front one forum poster said “some of us also have foodstamps available if it gets that bad”

Oh, and they need ear plugs because trains are loud.

If you’d like to keep a tabs on the goings on down there while you occupy your office or living room in solidarity with the 53%, check out their Occupy website, Occupy Forum, Facebook page, or go hi-tech and visit their Upstream.

And one more thought and then really I’ll quit. ?Mayor Dan Pike said in a press release referenced in the above Herald article.

“Organizers have expressed and, so far, followed through with their commitment to protest against wealth inequity in our country in a non-confrontational manner that is respectful of public safety and respectful of city property,”

Really soon to be former Mayor Pike? ?Politely flipping their noses at the rules of the city and people you represent then illegally taking up residence in a public park is being non-confrontational? ?Would it still be non-confrontational?if you had said, No? ?Ronald Reagan once said,

?Let?s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace?and you can have it in the next second?surrender.”

Mayor Pike… Ronald Reagan was joking, not giving leadership advice!

 

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