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Published: Monday, June 4, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Everett City Council

Meeting felt more like performance

I took the time to attend my first Everett City Council meeting last week.
The agenda was to "Read nominations of candidates for interim appointment for Position 5 of Everett City Council" and "Briefing on SWIFT Bus Rapid Transit Agreement with Community Transit."
The nominations consisted of each council member giving one name to the city council president as specified in a May 29 agenda I found online. There were actually two individuals named to be interviewed, Gigi Burke and Reid Shockey. However, since four out of five councilmembers nominated Gigi Burke, the one councilman withdrew his nomination.
The agenda blurb also said "... interviews before the entire Council in a public meeting will be set up for each nominee (up to 6)..." The council decided to elect Burke to the seat without a public meeting interview. Granted there was now only one nominee, but some kind of public introduction of the individual should have happened, shouldn't it? I felt terrible for the people who took the time to apply, build a resume and come to the meeting. Thankfully we have an election coming up for this position.
Another interesting thing I observed: Do they just have these polite conversations and never discuss or disagree about anything? Then there was this "transparency" declaration by each council member, which was strangely spoken numerous times as they talked. Where is the discussion? Where are the differing views? I felt I was attending a "performance" rather than a productive meeting.
I will say that council President Ron Gipson did offer some great comments concerning the SWIFT agreement with Everett Transit. His comment centered on Community Transit cutting service at the rate of 37 percent, so why does Everett Transit still pay the same percentage (100 percent) that equals $1.3 million per year?
Shelley L. Weyer
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