On Friday, five council members participated in the “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event in Tacoma to help raise money for abused women.
The picture below was taken on the “red carpet”. John Knutsen, Steve Vermillion, Rick Hansen, and John Hopkins walked the carpet. Shortly after Tom Swanson joined the effort.
While there might not be any women currently on the council, these men did their best to “look like a lady” and support a good cause.
Here’s a link to today’s News Tribune article.
[Edit: Here is a Letter to the Editor we missed earlier. Very well written Mr. Bennett!]
We’re not sure if there is anymore comment to be made to this article, other than it probably wasn’t necessary to write. However, the article is well written and presents a fair view to both sides.
The fact is, a couple of constant complainers who cannot be happy no matter what happens (look for a future video of one of these people), went to the newspaper. They interviewed the involved councilmembers, researched the rules, and formed this article. They found nothing wrong with this practice.
We believe that these councilmembers should continue to avoid these situations because, while not illegal may not look good to the public. However, if you read the current comments on the article, people feel this is not an issue, they were elected for a reason, and they know the rules, so let them handle this duties as they best see fit. If this is a major issue for people, they will elect others when the time comes. If the current council does a good job, they will be reelected no matter who they choose to have a beer with.
Social pals swear off Puyallup city business [Tacoma News Tribune]
The Washington Coalition for Open Government presented a Key Award to Puyallup Councilmember John Knutsen on Aug. 16 in recognition of his efforts to keep council discussions and transactions open to the public. Mr. Knutsen, a councilmember since 2008, is being honored for his effort to promote better accountability in government by refusing to participate in informal discussions between small groups of councilmembers and the city manager that occur outside of the regularly scheduled council meetings. The so-called “serial or rolling meetings” have drawn public criticism, because the small groups of three members (vs. four which is a quorum) enable the members to meet without any public notice and other provisions of transparency required by Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act. Knutsen has boycotted the informal meetings since they were instituted earlier this year by the city manager and mayor, who defend them as informational only. “It just didn’t seem appropriate” to discuss city business outside regular meetings, said Knutsen. “Too often, business is done outside the public view” in many jurisdictions, even when the participants have good intentions. A retiree from 25 years working for the city of Tacoma, he said he supports transparency whenever possible. “I do appreciate this award,” he said. “Since I’ve been in government, I think it’s important that people step forward and do the right thing for the community.” Since citizens have complained, Councilmember Rick Hansen has joined Councilmember Knutsen’s boycott. It’s also good for the council to know that someone is watching how we operate.” The award was presented by Toby Nixon, president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. “It takes a great deal of courage for a member of any public body to stand up to their peers and their professional advisers, and insist that not only the letter of the law but the spirit of the law be obeyed,” said Toby Nixon, WCOG president. “The Coalition actively encourages other officials around the state to follow the example of Councilmember Knutsen and demand that actions be taken openly and that deliberations be conducted openly unless the law and the public interest clearly require otherwise.” WCOG presents its Key Award to individuals and organizations, including public officials and agencies, who have done something notable for the cause of open government. Knutsen was nominated for the award by WCOG Board Member Patience Rogge, who praised the councilmember’s stand for public access to all city council discussions, and for his efforts educating his colleagues that the “serial or rolling meetings” violate the spirit of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act. The Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) is an independent nonpartisan non?profit organization founded in 2002 by a group of individuals representing organizations with a broad spectrum of opinions and backgrounds, all dedicated to the principles of strengthening the state’s open government laws and protecting the public’s access to government at all levels. For more information, contact Washington Coalition for Open Government, 6351 Seaview Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107?2664 or on the web at www.washingtoncog.org or call (206) 782?0393. You can go the the following link to view the resentation: http://cityofpuyallup.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=288
District 1 Councilmember John Knutsen’s 4-year term is up on December 31 of this year. Last week he filed for reelection and as Friday’s deadline passed, he is unopposed.
Congratulations to Mr. Knutsen on his reelection!
The fact that no one chose to run against him is a testament to his service on the council. He has been one of the few voices up there that speak for the citizens. It doesn’t matter what his personal opinion on the item is, he talks to the people, finds out what they want, and votes accordingly.
He helped rid our city of a corrupt city manager, spent $50,000 of his own money fighting for public information, helped get council meetings televised, incorporated term limits, stopped an attempt to change our district representation to all at-large, and frankly, has been a thorn in the side of those long-time council members who were used to doing whatever they wanted and whatever was best for them personally.
District 1 will have a citizen’s voice on the council for at least four more years.
We the residents of Fifth Street Southeast would just like to say thank you to a few people who were very helpful during The Puyallup Fair.
First of all a big thank you to John Knutsen, Rick Hansen, Melanie Robinson and Sgt. Thompson of Puyallup police department. John and Rick, as well as Melanie Robinson, were very helpful in getting the no parking signs posted on our street. Thank you. Also thanks to Sgt. Thompson for being so visible during The Fair and enforcing the correct parking on our street.
I am just wondering where was our council representative for District 2?
Tami Brouillet was nowhere to be seen, as was Kathy Turner our mayor.
When this problem with Fair parking was brought to the attention of the city council, we were told it would be taken under advisement and we would be contacted.
If it wasn’t for the integrity of Melanie, John and Rick helping contact us to the city public works department, it would have been really rough. We would just like to say again a big thank you to those of you who really care about the people of Puyallup and when they have a problem, you listen.
-Debbie Carling, Gary Robinson, Brenda Bauer, Jim Coghill, Elnore Hall