Letters to the editor

King a good fit?

To the editor

Word on the street is that our City Council voted in executive session to appoint Blair King as our next city manager.

While a closed door vote is arguably a violation of state law, there is a more important question: Is King a good fit for Bainbridge Island? King is city manager for Coronado, CA, a wealthy, densely populated suburb of San Diego. Google Earth imagery shows that the small, 2 square mile city is little more than a dense grid of homes, high rises and a golf course. King’s one-year plan for Bainbridge includes increasing density by upzoning through so-called ‘’inclusionary” zoning. Is this what we want?

King also is expensive – commands a $300,000 salary and benefits including, a driving stipend, and millions in exceptionally low-interest mortgages, financed by city reserves.

That he flipped one of his subsidized homes after a few years to pocket a profit may not have been be illegal, but it raises questions as to whether King, as Bainbridge city manager, will be more focused on serving the public, or serving himself.

I urge the council to reconsider its decision and instead to frankly discuss the pros and cons of the three finalists, and to do so publicly.

Closed door decisions by our elected officials undermine the public trust in both the council and city manager they will be hiring. We deserve a public debate from our council as to who should become the de facto leader of our community. Citizens should demand nothing less.

Chris Neal, Bainbridge Island

Help teachers

To the editor:

It breaks my heart to hear that teachers and students of the Bainbridge Island School District are told to go back to the classroom while the pandemic is still raging.

Why has the community sacrificed so much for so long to take the risk now, when mass immunizations are just around the corner?

My kids grew up in the Bainbridge school system, and I would be devastated to learn that one of those teachers were sickened or died because of transmission from their students. I could not even imagine the widespread grief in the community if students got sick or died.

I work in healthcare and my employer mandates I wear PPE and pays for it, and now I am immunized. Now, underpaid teachers are having to pay for their own PPE. I hope that the school district rethinks it’s misguided plan. If not, then join me in contributing to this GOFUNDME page at gf.me/u/zgcfbx.

Laura Sachs, Bainbridge Island

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