Posts Tagged ‘Bellingham City Council’

Cat Poop Variation

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

In struggling to understand the whole “net” safer concept proposed by red light camera advocates I came up with the cat poop analogy which I think brings the concept down to a more base level that may be easier for some to understand.

I happen to  have a backyard that is filled with so much dog poop that it is a dangerous to walk across the lawn.    Now one day a young man named Pan Dike (no relation to Pan Peter) came knocking at my door with an offer to help me take care of my dog poop problem.  His proposal he explained, would reduce my chances of stepping in  dog poop  and at the same time provide a little income for both he and I.  Really?

Where’s the catch I asked?  And young Pan showed me a report from a study of his proven system that not only would benefit me with regards to poop, but paid him a tidy allowance of which he was willing to share.  Seeing the disbelief in my eyes, he showed me a study of 7 homes  in my neighborhood as proof that on average owners were 24.6% less likely to step in poop.  And he reminded me that it wouldn’t cost me a penny to try.  Being the greedy and gullible schmuck that I am, I bit on his poop proposal like a two for a dollar Snickers sale.

Arriving home after a long day of work I decided to slip out and enjoy my now much safer backyard.  What the heck! I looked down to see that I had stepped in poop.  What happened to my 24% reduction in dog poop that Pan Dike had been promised?  It was then that I perceived the subtle difference in odor.  I didn’t own a cat, but I had just stepped in cat poop.

I took a closer read at my con-tract as I dialed Pan’s number.  As it turns out the shyster was going throughout the neighborhood picking up dog poop just like he said he would, but he was also dumping  cat poop from his litter box cleaning service out in it’s place.

How does that make my backyard safer?  Well you see said young Pan Dike justifying his smelly deed, even though there may be just as many poop piles in your backyard, you are 24.6% less likely to hit dog poop and cat poop you see, it’s smaller and therefore less likely to be stepped in.  So even though you still have a yard filled with poop piles you are in fact 9.9% “net” safer than you were.  It’s kind of like when they install those red light cameras causing tail end accidents that are “net” safer than  the T-bone collision they used to have more of.

CoBPAC: City of Bellingham Political Action Committee

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

BootForget SarahPAC.? Forget Rural Neighbors PAC.? The City of Bellingham(COB), yes our City of Bellingham is the hottest new political action committee(PAC) north of Portland.

Sure the city may not have reported? expenditures nor filed any legal paperwork.? I wouldn’t expect them to either admit to being a PAC, nor fill out any paperwork.?? But, for intents and purposes they appear to be a political action committee.

Their recent actions on two current state issues bear positive? witness to their PAC status.

The council unanimously, with Councilman Gene Knutson absent, approved a resolution opposing Eyman?s Initiative 1033’…,

Members also, in a 5-0 vote with Councilman Stan Snapp abstaining, passed a resolution urging voters to approve Referendum 71

Bellingham City Council opposes Eyman?s I-1033, backs ?everything but marriage? law

or,

The Bellingham City Council is now officially urging citizens to vote ?no? on Tim Eyman?s Initiative 1033 to limit state, county and city revenue.

KGMI: Bellingham Council Publicly Opposes I-1033, Supports R-71

There should be no doubt in our mind that when any body urges voters to approve a referendum or urges voters to vote no on an initiative they are acting politically.?? But does just urging others to vote one way or another qualify the COB as a real political action committee?

In our state there is volume after volume of code, so I was pretty happy that the PDC had on record this little one paragraph summary.

A political committee is any person (except a candidate or an individual dealing with his or her own resources) who expects to receive contributions or make expenditures to support or oppose a candidate or ballot measure. The disclosure law applies to most groups organized to influence an election. Political parties, political action committees (PACs), and one-issue groups that disband after a single election are all political committees.

That was definitely easier than reading volumes, and pretty clear that making “expenditures to support or oppose a candidate or ballot measure” qualifies as being a PAC.? We’ve already established that the City of Bellingham is acting in support or opposition to a couple of state ballot measures, but what about the expenditure part?

I know someone will want to argue that a city resolution is just a piece of paper and hardly qualifies as an expenditure, but? I’d argue back that city resources were expended on many levels that surround the resolution put forth by CoBPAC.?? Check out this little thrown together list

  • People and businesses in the Bellingham pay money in taxes and fees
  • The city of Bellingham maintains a treasury
  • Salaried people are hired to do city business
  • Paid Council members spend time discussing potential resolutions
  • Press releases are issued and or interviews are done with radio and news.
  • Forums are held in public facilities
  • Forums are recorded for later repeated broadcasts
  • Paid City personnel process necessary paperwork

All that is part of the process involved in a city resolution.? Now again, someone will argue that it is only a little bitty portion of all of that and it doesn’t really amount to an expenditure.? I’ve read enough of the Herald political blog to know that if I were to have a PAC of my own, someone would be wondering who paid for the stapler on my desk, the desk, and the staple there in.? Anything and everything has a value when it comes to PAC’s and your opposition will always point the value out to you and/or the PDC.? Value matters.

In fact let’s say there was a WallyPAC and for sake of argument I was concerned with the outcome of I-1033.? At the time of this blog post I haven’t weighed in on this issue, not that it really matters because the rules apply the same regardless of position on any particular candidate or ballot measure.? But we at WallyPAC have laid out a plan very similar to the CobPAC.? Here’s our plan:

  • First we are going to hire a few people to go out and solicit funding from local people and businesses.? We, unlike the city, will merely ask rather than demand under penalty of law.
  • We’ll open a bank account to keep our WallyPAC funds
  • We retain an attorney.
  • Then we’ll hire a small part time staff to organize our meetings and meeting places, etc.
  • All of us on the board are gainfully employed, but feel our long hours should be at least somewhat compensated, so we take a small salary for our time spent meeting and discussing issues important to WallyPAC and those who have donated their money.
  • We expect to agree on a position on I-1033, but feel a focus group or public forum should be held to solidify our position, so we reserve a room at a public hall.
  • Next our staff organizes interviews and issues statements regarding WallyPAC position and our upcoming forum
  • We hold a brief public forum which is recorded for playback on BTV10
  • More payed staff time is spent processing papers, paying bills and for sure a stack of PDC paperwork.
  • We then issue our statement on I-1033 and make sure we are prominantly placed on the Heralds front page.

So what would it cost WallyPAC to compete with CoBPAC on an issue???? WallyPAC hasn’t funded an exploratory committee yet, so I’ll just have to throw a few numbers up against the screen and see what sticks.

  • Hire doorbellers for a day ~ $300
  • bank accounts shouldn’t cost
  • retain an attorney???? $500
  • small part time staff?? gotta’ be a few hundred there
  • collect a salary?? I’m humble so I’ll call it just another few hundred
  • rent a public room? – $150 to rent a room off the library, but I’m sure city hall is a bit more steep
  • a little more staff time for another hundred dollars or so
  • BTV10 videographer and a few paid spots?? I’d guess, but I don’t want to insult anyone.
  • well, buying space on front page of the Herald will be costly.? You see Wally’s emails aren’t even acknowledged by anyone at the Herald so I will assume that WallyPAC will have to pay dearly.

What the dollars add up to is not really the point.

My first point is that WallyPAC may have to pay more for a particular item, but the value is the same.? If someone gave WallyPAC a front page Herald spot, someone would be looking at the value of the spot, not what I did or didn’t pay.

The second point is that if WallyPAC mimicked? what the City of Bellingham and the Bellingham City Council just did regarding I-1033 and Ref-71, we would without any doubt, be designated a political action committee.? So why isn’t the City of Bellingham?

If even half people of Bellingham pooled their resources to act in support or opposition to a candidate or ballot measure they’d qualify as a political action committee.? Wait isn’t that what just happened?? The people of Bellingham voted in a council that is competing with individual voters on state issues.

So again, why isn’t the City of Bellingham a political action committee?

It is.

CoBPAC, undermining your vote on state issues since at least earlier this week or maybe last August during the Sanctuary City project.? Oh no that was undermining your federal vote.

CoBPAC doing what they want no matter whose vote they step on.

Happy Subversives

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

happy subA couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Subversive “No War with Iran” resolution in front of the Bellingham City Council and a few days later wrote about the council members unanimously passing said resolution which had no business being in front of the council in the first place.

As I wrote the posts I wondered just how the City Council members could not recognize their actions as subversive to our nation’s democratic government.

 

Why couldn’t they, especially as elected officials themselves, see that following our governmental rules, most fairly values everyone’s vote? How could they not see that their personal agreement or disagreement with the outcome of our democratic process is not justification for destroying the process.

 

I hate the don’t shoot the messenger cliche, but that is exactly what is going on here. Our government is delivering the message; the will of the voters who elected people to address our national defense and the members of the City Council don’t like the message, so they are taking pot shots at our democratic process; essentially shooting our messenger.

 

Well, silly me for wondering why the council couldn’t recognize their damaging actions. After seeing the photo above and reading this letter to the editor, I would guess they clearly recognized their actions as subversive and were as knowledgeable and proud of their subversion as the author of this letter.

Some have called the Bellingham City Council’s “Hands Off! Iran” resolution subversive. I agree absolutely. I believe strongly that any paradigm of war and exploitation should be subverted by any and all means necessary.

Bellingham Herald: Evan Knappenberger, City resolution needed to subvert Iran war

While “subverted by any and all means necessary” may reflect only Evan Knappenberger’s personal opinion; his strong ties to the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center (WPJC) who promoted this resolution locally, would suggest differently. I see a lot of smiley happy faces in this photo from ImageEvent’s public gallery which bore this label.

City Councilmembers Stan Snapp, Terry Bornemann, Barbara Ryan, Barry Buchanan, & Jack Weiss celebrate with constituents the passage of the Resolution Opposing Military Intervention in Iran.

With “constituents” being members of the WPJC and said letter writer, there is no doubt in my mind that the City Council was both aware and happy with their subversive actions. Their action was sad, pathetic, subversive, corrupt and without excuse.

Insanity is no surprise

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Bellingham City Council member Gene Knutson said he was surprised to hear Costco is inquiring about building elsewhere because the council allowed the 2,000-square-foot expansion. He hopes it’s not an indication the company plans to leave Bellingham.

Bellingham, Whatcom County Local News | Bellingham Herald

If no sane person around here is surprised that Costco is looking to get out of Dodge, then where does this leave Bellingham City Council member Gene Knutson?

In good company with the rest of City Council, of course.