Letters to the Editor

Letters

Schools

Thanks to Sakai’s tutors

Our students at Sakai Intermediate finished another successful year.

This was due in part to Windermere/Bainbridge Island Realty’s incredible generosity. Their support enabled us once again to provide remediation in both reading and math.

The fifth- and sixth-grade students worked one-on-one with a tutor to increase reading fluency, while sixth grade students attended Math Club twice a week after school to develop a solid mathematical foundation.

We appreciate our partnership with Windermere/Bainbridge Island Realty and want to publicly acknowledge their funding for these invaluable services.

MARGOT AMESTOY,

teacher

TERRI ATKINSON, teacher

JO VANDER STOEP, principal

Sakai Intermediate School

Ericksen/Hildebrand

Road is now a ‘mouth of hell’

Has anyone noticed that since the closing off of the south entrance to the Safeway shopping center, High School Road has become a boulevard of the insane? To be sure, it was always busy before. But to drive that road now is to court madness.

Upon exiting the roundabout, one is suddenly hurled with centrifugal force into a speeded up universe of chaos and carnage. You can see your goal at the bottom of the hill – the stoplight at 305. But to get there you must endure a hellish gauntlet of hurtling steel vehicles.

Elderly women in Cadillacs suddenly start driving like they’re on the last lap of the Indianapolis 500. Normally mellow old hippies in ancient Volkswagen vans are suddenly riding your bumper and bellowing like Smackdown wrestlers. Minivan Moms morph into Mad Max on meth.

After somehow arriving at the stoplight in one piece, I breathe a sigh of relief and quote a refrain from The Charge of the Light Brigade – “Boldly they road and well, into the jaws of Death, into the mouth of Hell.”

It wasn’t nearly this bad before and it’s only going to get worse. Let’s put the issue of opening up Ericksen Avenue to through traffic on the ballot and let the citizens of Bainbridge decide once and for all by a simple majority vote.

If that doesn’t work, maybe we could at least change the name of High School Road to something more appropriate – say, Road Rage Lane.

DAVE RICHARDS

Haley Loop Road

City government

Rancor robs us all of decency

Thank goodness for the human decency of the vast majority of people who live in this neighborly community. As a City Council member, I’ve recently heard from many of you who want that neighborliness, civility and decency preserved. You’ve asked me what can be done to stop the personal attacks, and the barbed accusations of incompetence or wrongdoing, being conveyed by a few people to the employees of our city.

Yes, I agree that a relatively small number of people are engaging in this personal attack style of politics. Yes, these personal attacks have already lost us a top-notch director of planning. And, yes, if this brand of hostility and disrespect continues, and conspiracy theories replace collaborative problem solving, our city will lose more of its dedicated professionals whose qualifications, long hours and commitment to public service go unnoticed amidst recurring hostility and distrust from a few.

Useful debate of issues is often pre-empted by personal attacks that debunk the professionalism, competence or integrity of our city employees. Time is wasted responding to the debunking, which prolongs the time needed to make financially prudent and timely decisions for the community.

I regret to say that I think you’re right that we’re in danger of losing more of our best employees unless there’s a change for the better. Our planning director who resigned had outstanding credentials and a combination of personal integrity and commitment to public service that was evident to me whenever I worked with him. Interviewers agreed last year that he was the best qualified among 33 applicants for a position of great importance to our city. I believe we’ve lost a qualified applicant to replace him because of the rancor she sees on the Internet.

In my opinion, he left in significant part because “life is too short.” I believe it was the behavior of a small number of individuals who, in person, in print and behind anonymous electronic postings, projected distrust and disrespect, and who used personal attacks and distrustful slams against him and other city employees as their way to promote their political agendas.

Apart from the sad human side of this story, this also translates into an economic waste that every taxpayer should deplore. As every business manager knows, it’s very costly – in dollars and lost productivity – to lose, and then replace and train, key employees. The personal attack political style of a few is costing the rest of us a lot. And it creates a corrosive atmosphere that’s an obstacle to positive collaborative decision-making.

If you agree that this community is better served by civil, neighborly and reasoned dialogue instead of personal attacks, please say so – in letters to the editor, in comments at our City Council meetings, in emails to your council representatives.

To our credit, our community speaks up and engages actively and vocally in city decision-making. Please keep that up. But let’s take a stand against the personal attack style of politics, because it’s destructive to the community we’re trying to sustain.

BARRY PETERS

Member, City Council

Vineyard Lane

Editor’s note: This was written before Deputy Finance Director Carol Badzik resigned Monday.

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