Opinion

Citizens deserve initiative process

Maybe I missed a memo, but when did it become a requirement to get Ed Carlson's approval to oppose his idiotic proposals?

He is dismayed by the move for initiative and referendum. Really? Mr. Carlson is quoted as saying, "I don't remember Mr. Cook ever showing up at a council meeting or a work study; certainly not at anytime when he has identified himself, which he would have to do if he was going to speak. I'm amazed at his sudden interest in civic affairs."

Well, that appears to be at odds with the facts. I have seen Mr. Cook at several council meetings. While I cannot speak to work studies, Mr. Cook can produce several e-mails directed to Mr. Carlson and the others on the council; a Freedom of Information Act request can confirm that those communications have taken place. I also believe that Mr. Cook interviewed for the position on the Economic Development Council, so we could request a copy of his application to satisfy Mr. Carlson's burning desire to understand Mr. Cook's interest in civic affairs. Now that we have established the veracity gap that is so prominent in Mr. Carlson's quote, perhaps we can get away from the ad hominem attacks and talk about the issues.

The citizens of North Bend deserve the initiative and referendum process to be in place. The option to call for a public vote on issues such as the distracted-driving ordinance and the cell-phone ordinance will act as check on overzealous lawmakers and allow free and open debate over the issues. I believe that those citizens who came to give testimony before the council at the March 19 meeting left with the feeling that their input was being tolerated, but not being seriously considered.

Judging from statements in the press, I would say that the council has a clear majority in favor of the ordinances. Papers prepared in favor of the cell-phone ban have been penned and distributed by council members, supportive statements were also voiced at [the March 19] meeting. The only recourse is to force a vote to establish the will of the people.

Mr. Webber's comments in [the April 4] Valley Record concerning the initiative and referendum may have some validity: "The new idea appears to me, on the thin surface, to offer a rather short-term and simplified approach to handling the symptoms of what apparently is perceived by some citizens to be a larger political problem." Yes, a short-term simplified approach to a larger political problem, that would be nice.

In 2003, there will be three council positions and the mayor's office up for election. That will be the long-term solution. I would like to encourage all registered voters in the city of North Bend to join their friends and neighbors in signing the petition for establishing the initiative and referendum process.

The petition can be signed at the following businesses. Make sure to support these local folks while you are there! Alpine Fitness Club, 1140 E. North Bend Way; Cascade Office Supply, 131 E. North Bend Way; Farmers Insurance, 8150 B Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie; Iron Age, 129 W. North Bend Way; Mount Si Chevron Deli and Car Wash, 745 S.W. Mount Si Blvd.; Mount Si Texaco, 742 S.W. Mount Si Blvd.; North Bend Bar and Grill, 145 E. North Bend Way; North Bend Dry Cleaners, 400 E. North Bend Way; North Bend Texaco and Deli, 225 E. North Bend Way; Snoqualmie Valley Antique Co., 116 W. North Bend Way; Sterling Savings Bank, 146 W. Second St. and Bendigo Blvd.; Tesoro Bryan's One-Stop, 302 W. North Bend Way, The Reef Restaurant at the Mount Si Village Shopping Center, 426 Main Ave. S.; Velocity Wireless, 131 E. North Bend Way.


Ross Loudenback

North Bend

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