Puyallup Mayor Hopkins Being Frozen Out?

The City Council has stripped Mayor Hopkins of his ability to set and veto agenda items.

Also, rumor has it that the other council members are aligning to remove him of his honorary Mayoral title.

He’s quickly losing allies, support and even business partners. Former pawns are becoming enemies… It’s sad news for Hopkins. It’s probably good news for everyone else.

With more lawsuits mounting, we hear that he’s going door to door to keep the public in the dark and get them on his side. If he shows up knocking, be wary of his tall tales.

Filed under Uncategorized

Hopkins, Circus Ringleader

[Ed note- formatting added]

“It’s a brand new and wonderful council” exclaims Hopkins further stating “The citizens did not like our reputation as a bickering council.”

Oddly enough, the person who created the dissent and encouraged two or three people to continually attack three council members was none other than John Hopkins himself.

Hopkins is the master of manipulation and did so by forwarding city council emails to folks like Chris Chisholm enticing him to verbally attack council members (email obtained via PRR [Ed- Public Records Request]).

  • Hopkins orchestrated now Councilmember Farris’ sudden appearance at a council meeting attacking threecouncil members, demanding they resign, step down and never hold public office again to include calling the City Attorney (now City Manager) a liar and stating that he should be disbarred.
  • This followed on the heels of Hopkins being exposed for non-payment of fees and taxes to Labor and Industries as well as to the US Government for social security and Medicare with holdings for employees.
  • Hopkins used his British buddy Dave Churchman to harass and attempt to intimidate council members through use of the Public Records Act. Hopkins went as far as creating a scenario for a violation of the Open Meeting Act, then had Churchman contact Arthur West who in turn filed a lawsuit against the city. City emails obtain under the Public Records Act show that Hopkins has shared confidential information from Executive Sessions with Dave Churchman who in turn has attempted to use it against the city and or respective council members.
  • He like his mentor, Kathy Turner, are oblivious to the Open Meeting Act requirements. Public records show that Hopkins violated the OMA while serving as the chair of the Ad Hoc committee charged with interviewing and recommending appointments to city boards and commissions.
  • In one case, the committee selected an applicant for continuance on the Civil Service Commission. After the meeting adjourned, Hopkins apparently had second thoughts, contacted Councilmember Shadko telephonically and convinced her to change her vote. Hopkins in turn left a message on Councilmember Swanson’s voice mail (now a public record) indicating he and Shadko had changed their votes therefore an emergency meeting had to be convened—without public notice. Hopkins and Shadko then appointed Paul Mahoney, an ally of Hopkins’ to the Civil Service Commission.
  • Hopkins has no moral compass as evidenced in part by his change in perspective on repayment of Interfund Loans. Repayment of these loans in either 2014 or 2015 based on published budget documents would have converted debt to cash for use in 2017 enabling more infrastructure projects (roads, sewers, water) to be addressed. Hopkins and Palmer have spearheaded side tracking as much year-end funding as possible by stripping Tier 3 (year-end) projects of funding, diverting up to 40% of LTAC funding (by law to be used only for tourism) and by foregoing early repayment of interfund loans in order to build Palmer’s dream sports complex.
  • The council majority already raised your utility rates 26% and is now contemplating raising your sewer rates somewhere between 21% and 38%–as cited in the current draft sewer plan.

“It a brand new wonderful council” that will spend this city back into debt on pet projects that provide no benefit to the majority of the citizens.”

 

Mike Jones

First appeared in the comments section of a TNT article online.

Filed under John Hopkins, John Palmer

Is Councilman John Hopkins involved in an illegal drug operation?

King 5 reports that a property owned Deputy Mayor John Hopkins has been raided for illegal drug production.

They also report that one person, who is in the US illegally, has been arrested. They further report that he is from Britain, just as Hopkins is, and around the same age.

This is hardly the first time Hopkins has been associated with or accused of being involved in illegal practices, even within the last year.

Hopkins claims no knowledge of the illegal actions of his tenant going by the name “Dutch Masters Organic Grow” or their trafficking of the illegal drugs to a nearby store front selling the products.

A quick internet search of “Dutch Masters Organic Grow” reveals many links to cannabis production and oil extraction processes including some specific products they produce and sell.

Is it then hard to swallow that Hopkins honestly believed this was a medical records business?

One might also wonder if this is related to Hopkins complete 180 reversal on the marijuana ban earlier this year when he publicly stated he changed his mind and that a marijuana producer was interested in renting from him.

There has been no word yet if Hopkins tight knit voting block on the council (Palmer, Shadko and Door) knew about this operation while also reconsidering the ban earlier this year.

Many citizens are already calling for Hopkins resignation.

Filed under John Hopkins

Too Bad No One Warned Them…

Litigation - Copy

Puyallup has often been plagued by lawsuits. Many would say they have been the result of corrupt or incompetent leadership. As you can see below, as a candidate, District 1 Councilman John Hopkins attempted to be the champion of ending costly litigation.

“I believe the City has squandered money on pointless litigation…”

-Candidate John Hopkins, 2011 Pierce County Voters Pamphlet

“Against – Excessive and Expensive Litigation”

-Candidate John Hopkins, 2011 “June Brochure”

“Establish good risk management to eliminate expensive litigation. Done.”

-Candidate & Councilman John Hopkins, 2013 Campaign Info Card

“We are now basically law suit free… YEAH!”

-Candidate & Councilman John Hopkins, 10/1/13 www.electjohnhopkins.com

With that job apparently “done” he has changed tactics and is now soliciting for new lawsuits.

For months the business community, voters,staff, and even likely from the city’s own attorneys had warned the council, but it seems that he is incapable of taking sound advice.

The following new and costly lawsuit is presented without further comment.

Click here to read the full lawsuit.

 

 

 

Filed under City Council 2014, John Hopkins, John Palmer, Julie Door, Tax Payers Money Wasted, Uncategorized

Let Us Count the Ways

We all know that guy who believes “it’s only illegal if you get caught.” PuyallupNow has to wonder if this is the motto of City Councilman Palmer his minions.

At the recent emergency meeting (an emergency fabricated entirely by Palmer) they slammed through crippling regulations designed to persecute specific local farmers and job creators. In preparation for that meeting, the attorney representing the developer sent a scathing and direct letter to the council.

They ignored it.

We will link to the entire letter at the end of this post, but the following are some excerpts of the crimes and infractions sighted in the communication.

The Proposed ML Overlay is a discriminatory, site-specific rezone that is the latest in a pattern of actions by certain members of the City Council to interfere with the Schnitzer/ Van Lierop Purchase Agreement. The purpose of this letter is to put the City Council on notice that if it adopts the Proposed ML Overlay, it will do so in knowing Violation of the law. As the Council knows, actions taken in knowing violation of the law give rise to a claim for damages and attorney’s fees under Chapter 64.40 RCW.

In early 2014, Schnitzer submitted a short plat application for a warehouse project that was fully consistent with the new ML zoning. … the newly comprised Council immediately proposed an “emergency” moratorium preventing the acceptance or processing of any and all… …applications or plans on thirteen parcels in the Shaw-East Pioneer area, which included the Property. We informed the Council at that time that the moratorium was adopted in violation of state law, without required Planning Commission or State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”) review, but the Council acted in disregard of our letter and the law.

The stated purpose of the moratorium was to allow time for the City to consider whether to extend the original [overlay]… …to thirteen parcels in the Shaw-Pioneer area, which included the Property. …Councilmember Vermillion observed at the January 7, 2014 Council meeting that the moratorium could be viewed as “personal retribution against Schnitzer” the only entity with a viable development proposal in the Shaw-Pioneer area. Furthermore, Councilmember Door described the urgency as follows: “do it now before the [Schnitzer] sale closes.”

In sum, the actions of the Council over the last several months reveal a concerted scheme to interfere with the Schnitzer/ Van Lierop Purchase Agreement and prohibit industrial development on the Property. If the Council adopts the Proposed ML Overlay… … it will do so in knowing violation of the law and subject the City to damages under Chapter 64.40 RCW.

Outlined below are some of the legal defects associated with the City process and the Proposed ML Overlay. This list is not exhaustive.

1. Planning Commission and SEPA Violations

… Before the city council may grant, modify or deny any application for amendment [to the City’s zoning code], it must first receive and consider a recommendation on such application from the planning commission. Before the planning commission acts to make a recommendation on such application it shall conduct a duly noticed public hearing pursuant to Chapter 20.12 PMC.

The Planning Commission… … did not consider a targeted, site-specific ML overlay with standards so stringent that viable industrial development could not occur. PMC 20.91.020 and PMC 20.91.025

Similarly… … the SEPA Addendum did not analyze the impacts of creating a new, site-specific ML overlay that would significantly restrict building size and effectively preclude industrial development. RCW 43.21C.034

2. Appearance of Fairness Doctrine/Bias/Due Process Violations

This is a quasi-judicial action… Accordingly the appearance fairness of doctrine applies here… In a quasi-judicial matter, local governments must disqualify decision-makers from quasi-judicial hearings who have prejudged the issues, who have a bias in favor of one side in the proceeding, who have a conflict of interest, or who cannot otherwise be impartial. RCW 42.36.060.

In this case, the evidence shows – through adoption of a development moratorium on the eve of Schnitzer’s short plat application and Councilmember Vermillion’s observation that the moratorium as adopted as “personal retribution against Schnitzer” – clear evidence of bias. However, no attempt was made to assess and disclose potential bias on the record, and no attempt was made to assess the extent and nature of ex parte contacts. This is a violation of the appearance of fairness doctrine, which would require invalidation of the Proposed ML Overlay (if adopted). See Alger vs City of Mukilteo 107 Wn. 2d 541, 730 P.2d 1333 (1987).

3. Comprehensive Plan Inconsistency

The City’s Comprehensive Plan notes that the City “has lagged behind many other Puget Sound communities in the development of industrial, warehousing and business park uses,” which has resulted in limited employment opportunities and no industrial tax base.

4. Internal Development Regulation Inconsistency

The Proposed ML Overlay is also inconsistent with… …the PMC 20.46.005 and the Cíty’s ML regulations, which are designed to encourage high-quality industrial development.

5. Other Procedural Violations

The decision not to allow public comment at a special meeting set to consider adoption of a new,site-specific zoning ordinance that was introduced for the first time on May 20 is an extraordinary action that violates participation requirements. RCW 36.70A.020(11); RCW 36.70A.140; RCW 36.70A.035; WAC 365-196-600.

Finally, on May 16, 2014, we submitted a Public Records Act (“PRA”) request to the City for documents related to the Schnitzer short plat application and proposed overlay zone since February 1, 2014 (documents produced over a 3 month time period). The City responded that it could not produce the requested documents until November. A six-month response time is unreasonable and gives rise to a claim under RCW 42.56.550. The City’s eventual response to the PRA request may reveal additional violations of state law, including potential violations of the Open Public Meeting Act (“OPMA”), Chapter 42.30 RCW.10

Click here to read the full letter.

Filed under Uncategorized