Category Archives: City Council 2014

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

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

Tribal Council

We at PuyallupNow are big fans of the CBS hit TV show, Survivor.

On Survivor, the contestants usually form alliances, often more than one at a time, in an effort to combine forces, eliminate competition and get further in the game.

Once in a while an insider from within a powerful alliance will, when unsure of her position, confide in others who then broadcast the sensitive dynamics and politics of the alliance for all to see. These are some of the most explosive and entertaining episodes.

Based on information leaked to PuyallupNow, we offer the following insights.

The Majority Alliance

This is an alliance born of paranoia and control. They have come together for power and to fulfill personal agendas.

Councilman John Palmer, District 2:

Palmer, whose pedigree includes a day job at the EPA believes he is in charge of the alliance. His primary tactic is mandating his will through tyranny and manipulation, rather than reasoned consensus and open debate. Recently disclosed documents have also indicated a strong preference to exclude other council members and bypass the chain of command in order to leverage individual department heads directly. Rarely able to complete a coherent thought during meetings, “he often back tracks on statements” which are clearly “damaging to” both “his agenda and to the city.” Prior to recruiting Door and Shadko, his complete incompetency was mitigated by the fact that he had no minions to command.

Councilwoman Julie Door, District 3:

Door is far and away the least experienced and least knowledgeable on the council. As a community organizer and one time lobbyist, her prior experience was limited entirely to non-controversial issues such as clothing and toy drives. While the business manager of a struggling massage parlor, Door made her bid for public office. After literally stealing the campaign playbook of her opponent through a manipulative friendship, she was able to win the District 3 seat. She then immediately adopted the ideas, philosophies, and excuses of those “allies” who she now follows and obeys. Supposedly self-medicated while under stress, as she grows “more paranoid and confused,” Door’s only contributions to the council are rehearsed and have apparently been prescribed by her mentors as she has been “unwilling to establish her own voice.”

Councilwoman Heather Shadko, District 2:

By far the most rational and reasonable member of the alliance. Her day job involves negotiations for the Port of Tacoma. Shadko’s primary civic passions lie with the library and ecology. At odds with being a self proclaimed moderate Republican, she has been the linchpin vote in raising the utility rates and curbing new local businesses. Though she often sits down with and makes promises to the minority alliance, she generally falls back in with Palmer when it comes time to vote.

Councilman John Hopkins, District 1:

Hopkins, a wealthy land and business owner, has one single obsessive goal. “He wants to be Mayor.” He will vote along with any plan, no matter how destructive or corrupt, as long as no one from his alliance decides to put the Mayoral selection process in the hands of the voters. Probably the smartest member of the alliance, Hopkins has demonstrated a reliability in switching sides to suit his own ends. No one is safe from his megalomania, and the others in his alliance are right to be “worried about” their tenuous majority. Between the rumors of his employees paid under the table and the complete reversal on the marijuana ban at the exact instant a pot producer wanted to rent from him, it looks like “his word can’t be trusted.” Perhaps the Puyallup Police Association said it best when rejecting his request for endorsement…

Ultimately, we felt that Hopkins brings with him too much potential for negative perceptions that could undermine public trust in the council… …we feel that Puyallup would have to wait and see whether Hopkins made good on his assurances of putting his own interests aside. …we are more comfortable trusting [in Tom Smilie]… …than we are trusting human nature in posession(sic) of a little power.

Within the same online article, the PPA wrote the following which with the clarity of hindsight, validates every concern.

Hopkins gave… …assurances that future votes involving conflicts of interest (such as downtown parking) could be easily resolved by recusing himself from such votes.

Hopkins has made no such recusals.

PuyallupNow would be remiss if we didn’t also comment on the other councilmen. With that in mind, we offer the following.

The Minority Alliance

This is an alliance born of reason and of a passion for Puyallup. They have come together through similarity of vision, rather than conspiracy.

Councilman Steve Vermillion, At-Large:

A decorated war hero, Vermillion always brings reasoned, conservative, and well researched opinions to the council. Though he can be somewhat long winded, his points are always on the mark.  He was instrumental in the reconstruction of Puyallup’s policies after the Kathy Turner group was ousted.  Often playing devil’s advocate, Vermillion is one of the last bright lights among today’s city council members.

Councilman Tom Swanson, District 3:

With his day job of dealing with public safety policy for Pierce County, Swanson has a unique perspective often giving him the only voice when considering the outside forces may effect Puyallup. Certainly the most polished public servant at the dais, he often redirects conversations back to the topic at hand while adding precise commentary to complex issues. If we had a spirit animal, it would be Tom Swanson.

Mayor John Knutsen, District 1:

A former police officer and lifelong Puyallup resident, Knutsen’s top priority is always the citizens of Puyallup.  Sometimes known as “Grampa” to his closest of friends, his kind and generous disposition is often obscured by his care free and jovial attitude. Knutsen entered Puyallup city politics when the City of Puyallup refused to release routine documents to the public. He spent $50,000 of his own money to fight for rules of transparency. After a protracted battle, ultimately the city gave in to his requests.  Intentionally misunderstood by his adversaries, he often represents the mantle of responsibility as the forces of discord and destruction lineup against him and are consistently beaten back.
While this alliance drama plays out at council meetings and behind closed doors, the citizens of Puyallup sit on the jury. Waiting, watching and listening. As we listen to our representatives plead their cases, we will decide whether or not they are voted off the island.

Filed under City Council 2014

The People’s Republic of Puyallup

*** Update ***

At Wednesday nights meeting the only four Council members present reluctantly relented to PuyallupNow’s concerns and allowed public comment. We are very pleased to know that we were heard and valued, in at least this one small way. We would like to thank them for this small consideration and also for their continued attention to the important issues addressed by PuyallupNow.

Of course, the public’s plea for reasonability and common sense didn’t stop the council from moving forward with their well orchestrated catastrophe.

This quick 30 minute “emergency meeting” was deliberately scheduled at a time when every single Councilman with an opposing opinion could not attend. Throughout the meeting there was little discussion other than some predictable “greater good” lies by Palmer and an uninformed question by Door about who owns the open space set asides. Apparently not all the conspirators were filled in on the details outside of which way to vote.

Of the two brave souls that got up to speak, one was the attorney Hollis Barnett, representing the oppressed and persecuted farmer Neil Van Lierop, and the other was a troubled minion and obvious plant of the Palmer Four. Who knows how many would have come to speak if the agenda hadn’t explicitly stated there would be no public comment.

Mr. Barnet rebuked the council’s actions, stating that he was not interested in a lawsuit, but that the council’s behavior might likely prompt one. He asked that his letter be entered into the record.  The council accepted the letter, but did not give it even a moments consideration.

The other speaker [name withheld] revealed himself to be one of the local zealots creating and spreading lies during the last election cycle. He claimed to have insider knowledge of the value of the land, the purchase prices, and the likely loss of value due to the council’s action. He claimed that if the city forces the sale into default, the land value will drop by 14% and that this amount is so small that no one would ever complain about it. Did he really reveal that Palmer’s plan includes a specifically quantifiable loss of property value?

There was no victory for anyone Wednesday night. You don’t get to lie to the public, feed them a conclusion, and then claim righteous vindication of your own fairy tale.


*** Original Article ***

The Four Councilmen of the Apocalypse have conspired together under the cover of midnight to impose their corrupt will on the people of Puyallup.

They have forced in an emergency meeting to mandate new regulations designed specifically to destroy our businesses, eliminate our jobs, and bankrupt our farmers. These regulations have already cost the city and it’s people jobs, low income housing, community amenities and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Adopting these regulations negligently ignores the overwhelming advice of the Planning Commission. It is important to note that ONLY the Planning Commission has taken the time to investigate these regulations. The City Council has spent ZERO time researching the consequences of slamming in these regulations designed for a completely different zone.

What is the emergency? They don’t want to give the public time to know what they are up to.

You want proof?  At this emergency meeting, to be held on Wednesday May 28th, outside of any regular or planned meeting, they are suspending the rules and banning public comment.

Complete totalitarian censorship. They refuse to listen to you.

However, PuyallupNow Industries is all about solving problems.  If you want to be heard on this issue, email us at with the subject “Get Heard” and we will make sure they get the message. (Please designate if you want your comments to be confidential.)

Alternatively, there is a Planning Commission meeting directly following the council’s conclave. There, you will likely be able to comment despite the council’s censorship.

By then, it may be too late, but it will be on the record, and will be a solid reminder during the coming elections.

One final note on this subject.

If these regulations are “win-win” as Councilman Palmer emailed his fan club and beneficial to the community, why are they so afraid of criticism that they must silence it? Why is there so much urgency that they can’t wait one week and allow the public to comment?

I think we all know the answer to these question.

Filed under City Council 2014, Clandestine, Election 2015

By 4-3 Vote, City Council Raises Utility Rates 4%

Without any discussion, the City Council voted 4-3 in favor of raising utility rates for the next four years by 4%.

Due to the lack of discussion, we have no idea the motivations behind any councilmember’s vote.

What we do know is that your future city bills will be higher.

Voting in favor of the utility rate increase were Councilmembers Palmer, Shadko, Hopkins and Door.

Voting against were Mayor Knutsen and Councilmembers Vermillion and Swanson.

Filed under City Council 2014

Council Rejects Moratorium 7-0

Tuesday night the city council quickly changed course, voting to postpone the moratorium in the Shaw-Pioneer area of our city.

This vote came after an executive session, and just one week after four members of the council voted in favor of it.

While we will never know what discussions and advice was had between the council and city attorneys, we can infer from their vote and some of the citizen comments that this vote was done to avoid litigation brought by the land owners or developers.

Mr. Harmer, a representative of Schnitzer West, spoke with his comments focused on Councilmember Palmer and the issue of trust. Three days after having what was described as a “burying the hatchet” phone conversation between the two, Councilmember Palmer added the moratorium to the council agenda without any mention of this to Mr. Harmer. The good will and ideas discussed about future trail connections and parks was tossed aside by Mr. Palmer for no apparent reason.

It is disappointing that John Palmer would put at risk the opportunity to partner with a developer and possibly offset some of the cost to add a park and connect a section of the trail in our city. We hope that in the future this council can work to add amenities to the east part of our city and that Mr. Palmer is not a roadblock to these issues.

Filed under City Council 2014, John Palmer