I would like to apologize to Brian Shay, Alisha Thurman and Jack Durney. I was wrong to make personal attacks.
I do believe the Brian Shay has a tough job and works hard. He is the person out front delivering the news we do not want to hear. I should know better than to “kill the messenger.” I was out of line in my letter. Alissa Thurman did not deserve my comments on where they had their wedding.
I also believe that Jack Durney wants good things for Hoquiam. My concerns are with low-income citizens living on fixed income. They are not able to make ends meet and give up some of their basic needs to pay utilities. Local taxes are regressive and especially hurt the low and middle income citizens. I remember Roger Jump, our last mayor, when projects were discussed saying Hoquiam taxpayers can’t afford it. I think the city council when approving projects need to think about the citizens’ ability to pay.
Jack Durney, as well as the city council, authorized studies on revitalizing downtown Hoquiam. At the beginning I thought the program was a good idea. Hoquiam had someone interested in developing a business in the Bitar building. That would have been an asset to Hoquiam. Then we were hit with the “great recession.” Apparently the developer determined that it wasn’t a good time to develop that project.
We have high unemployment, low income taxpayers and a large population of seniors living on small fixed income. I feel the Hoquiam citizens should be a top priority. We all like to see improvements made to Hoquiam, but in my opinion a skate park, tree planting and revitalization should come after water transmissions lines and other infrastructure repairs.
When I included property tax levies as well as increases in utilities, my point was that these are huge burdens on taxpayers living on small fixed incomes.
I didn’t start with writing letters to the editor. I went to council meetings with other citizens and asked that they cut some of the non-essential items out of the budget. You are given five minutes to speak. You are told when your five minutes are up and a lot of times they made no comment and would go on to the next topic. It was a waste of time going to council meetings.
I was attacked for writing letters to the editor by the city. We are citizen and have a right to voice our opinions whether they like it or not. I hope I have learned from this and think about what I write and tone it down. Again, I apologize for making this personal.