Bainbridge Island Review Letters to the Editor | July 23
July 24, 2008 · Updated 4:29 PM
Let’s work together to solve problem
The Bainbridge Review published the article, “Lot Closure Gives New Life To Ericksen-Hildebrand Issue” on July 12 and Brian Danzig’s letter to the editor, “Ericksen/Hildebrand: It’s Time For City To Take Some Action” on July 19. At Debbi Lester’s suggestion, we met to discuss the issues. By the end of the meeting we were both quite thankful to have had a face to face dialogue.
First, a couple of corrections we’d like to make regarding the article and letter to the editor. Debbi was not suggesting that the City Council or citizens could/should force private property owners to adhere to private property covenants/restrictions. Although the covenants/restrictions for the parcels in question are part of the public record, they are private property and contractual matters. Brian’s letter inferred that Hildebrand is a public street. The majority of Hildebrand Lane is privately owned and is not subject to the City’s control.
Brian favors a connection and would like to preserve the park if possible, but he does not feel that the property owners owe anyone an obligation to allow traffic through their privately owned parking lots. Debbi does not oppose some sort of an improved traffic connection between Hildebrand Lane, Wallace, and Ericksen. She is for permanently preserving the park, and against using City resources to create such a connection.
While we do not agree on everything, we do agree that avoiding tough decisions is no way to handle such issues and that we all should encourage the City to work with the business owners and neighbors to conclude this debate.
BRIAN DANZIG and DEBBI LESTER
One solution to the connection problem
The Ericksen-Hildebrand connection, or lack of same, continues to be ignored by our city council. The council, taking the position that any decision they make is certain to offend someone, has studiously avoided making any decision at all: not too desirable a position.
I think there’s a way to solve that problem that may satisfy everyone.
What if the city were to acquire that strip of the private property now used for parking and access to the few businesses located south of the Hildebrand business complex?
The strip could then become a public right-of-way for north-south traffic.
No disturbance of the pocket park. Removal of the adjacent property owners from any public liability. Permit unrestricted flow of north-south traffic reducing the serious congestion on High School Road. The private property owners get paid for their land and still retain their access via the public thoroughfare.
The strip could be acquired through negotiated purchase or, worst-case, condemnation under eminent domain.
JASPER R. CUTTER
Councilman Peters should resign
As a viewer and part-time attendee of City Council meetings, I wanted to communicate this household’s disgust with the absolute refusal of Mr. Peters to hear and/or maybe, better put, understand what the majority of island taxpayers are trying to communicate. Up until recently, the attempts to impart this information has generally been civil and for sure politically correct. But it has become apparent to us as well as many many others based upon the many comments directed to Mr. Peters at the July 9 council meeting, that he can’t comprehend and/or understand the message.
Mr. Peters seems to think based upon his actions that he knows what is best for the taxpaying public, hence vote after vote for a downtown plan that we can’t afford, many/most don’t support, and shown to be a low priority for the island residents. Then, of all things, he proposes tax increases to help fund a project which has little support. If that wasn’t bad enough, now in an open letter to the community he has asked people to be civil and basically not speak their peace but just bury their heads in the sand. And then lastly in a note to me he has suggested that he was misunderstood by what turns out to be a vast majority of the community.
There is NO doubt that Mr. Peters by his own actions feels everyone is out of step but him.
I have communicated to him in candid language our complete dissatisfaction with his council performance and suggested he consider resignation as he seems not to be able to represent the taxpaying peoples’ desires. I received back from him a note stating the many plaudits he is getting. The silent majority needs to pipe in and let him know their feelings and for him to understand them. They obviously must be straight forward, no minced verbiage. How much longer do we all want to witness Mr. Peters stumbling around in the council? We need council members and a mayor who recognize and accept the fact that they represent the taxpaying voters of this community, and who act accordingly.
Mr. Peters needs to RESIGN so that we can move ahead on Bainbridge Island!
Let’s give some thought to problems
Two articles in the Saturday’s Review got my attention. The first one was the guest column (“Winslow Way needs to be done right,” July 19). I agree, Winslow Way should wait until it can be done right and hopefully under budget. Being the main thoroughfare of the island we need to have enough money to do it right and not bankrupt the island. What part of “no money” don’t you understand? We have too many projects that need doing and very little grant money to do it with. Apparently we have enough grant money to do Wing Point Way. Well, why don’t we do it before we lose it? At least we would get one thing off our “to do list” and not be worse off. Mr. Pettersen had the right idea.
The second article was about Ericksen/Hildebrand (“It’s time for city to take some action,” Letters, June 19). This is something you should be taking up with me as I have been arguing about this for over 25 years. As things stand today, green spaces in the downtown area are disappearing faster than most people can think. What impressed me most was the use of the “trespassers” for the people that continue to sneak through Hildebrand to get to Ericksen and on to Winslow Way. The problem of how to remedy the exit on to High School Road on one end or Winslow Way on the other end I don’t think has been given enough thought (or possibly ANY at all).
Hopefully the monies for that connection has been removed from the CFP and if possible that money could go to the senior center remodel – just a thought.
Lawyers aren’t breaking rules
Mr. Olsen (“Candidates guilty of conflict of interest,” Letters, July 19) has missed the mark in decrying attorney contributions to judicial candidates. State law prevents candidates from knowing who contributed to their campaigns, and sitting judges are tightly controlled by the Rules of Judicial Conduct. An “appearance of conflict” argument can apply to contributions to any successful candidate who ultimately makes decisions that affect the public: Should a prospective City Council candidate refuse contributions from neighbors or business owners who might be impacted by a future vote on a zoning issue or a capital improvement project?
Instead, voters for judicial candidates should welcome input from knowledgeable people who interface the legal system everyday. They should look for a candidate who is endorsed by retired judges, prosecutors, and attorneys on “both sides of the aisle”, civil and criminal – like Greg Wall.
When a Kitsap County Bar Association poll asked attorneys to name their first choice among the three candidates, 75 percent picked Greg Wall, 24 percent picked Janette Danielson, and only two percent selected Bruce Danielson (who also was designated “not qualified” by 82 percent of those who chose to respond to that question.) Obviously, local attorneys are impressed by Greg Wall’s experience, knowledge and temperament.
Remember, lawyers are not a cohesive “special interest group” - there are lawyers on both sides of every litigated issue. Rather than elect someone with a very narrow agenda, attorneys are interested in a good judge who will make solid, consistent, well reasoned rulings.
Don’t use some superficial, uninformed criteria when you mark your ballot. Ask your friends and family involved in the legal system how they intend to vote. As an attorney with 30 years of litigation experience, I am encouraging my friends to vote for Greg Wall.
JAMES E. MACPHERSON
Kopta & Macpherson