Ward meetings offer an opportunity to eak out | Our Opinion | May 27

Many of 30 or so islanders who attended the two-hour Central Ward meeting on Tuesday expressed strong negative opinions about how the city’s council and staff are running the government. It’s difficult to know how representative they are of the community as a whole, but it’s clear from many of their statements that they believe the city began squandering public funds years ago and are still doing it.

Here are just a few examples:

• “Brenda Bauer (interim city manager) is running this city and we are not looking where we are overstaffed. The council needs to dig into it.”

• “The Shoreline Managment Plan will have a huge impact on homeowners and the council won’t even address it until December.”

• “We need a watchdog for the money that has been spent without us receiving the service we paid for.”

• “We need to use the smart people who live here more so we don’t elect idiots.”

• “We pay more to build more than we can afford. There’s a lot of waste and very little value added to our community.”

• “Whose running things here? The staff? The council? It should be us.”

• “Will there be accounting for the high sewer rates after the overspending for the Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade?”

• “How do you justify the size of our planning department when there’s very little building going on?”

• “Some people seem to think that the city needs to keep the water utility just so the staff can stay afloat.”

Some statements, such as a general blaming of city staff, may have been a little mean and misdirected, but it’s always encouraging when citizens feel free to engage with their elected officials. Let’s hope this activism continues unabated.

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