Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Olympia City Council candidates: supported by your neighbors or supported by empty land?

There are two kinds of candidates in the Olympia City Council race. The kind whose signs are firmly and forthrightly planted in your neighbors' yards, clearly demonstrating real support from real people, and those whose signs are firmly but stealthily planted on every vacant lot and property line, demonstrating a lack of real support from real people and a desire to win and govern even without true popular support.

As you drive around town, take the time to notice which candidates rely on the support of your neighbors and which ones have most of their signs sticking out of the bushes and weeds of roadsides, property lines, and vacant lots. Consider whether you want to be governed by someone who has gone door-to-door, talked to your neighbors, and won their support, or whether you want to continue to be governed by candidates who think their only obligation to the public is to "listen" to the majority opinion and then do whatever they were going to do anyway.

No more mistakes by the lake. No more council members who do not really listen, and then do the opposite of what the people want.

Make sure your vote counts. Vote early. Buxbaum, Hyer, Rogers and Roe for Olympia City Council.

I submitted this letter for publication by the local paper on the morning of Tuesday, October 13. The candidates supported by the paper are Veldheer and the pro-isthmus-high-rise-development and anti-doing-what-the-vast-majority-of-residents-want candidates Kingsbury, Machlis, and Sermonti, who take the "listen and lead" approach: "listening" to the majority opinion (reluctantly, and while e-mailing and facebooking derogatory comments about "idiots") and then leading by going ahead and doing what they were going to do, anyway. They claim that votes against them are by "single-issue" voters, interested only in the isthmus issue. They are half right. The single issue here is whether city council members truly listen to, and act in, the interests of city residents, or whether they are listening to and acting in the interests of someone else.