“TRANSPARENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT”
Here is Mr. Collins’ report, in his own words:
I attended the meeting Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero called for Wednesday night [Sept. 28] at the Nisqually Middle School to allow those opposing this project air their grievances as to how the proposed jail issues have been handled. It was an awareness raising event.
My observations as one having arrived in the area about three years ago are as follows:
The Nisqually Nation presented a history that was meant to demonstrate they are members of a larger community attempting to live in good faith with their neighbors. However, after listening for over 3 hours and hearing the opposition’s points, I see it as a smoke screen for their lack of due diligence which surely they can now see. They did not properly contact their neighbors – witness the following facts:
1. Their letters of notice to neighbors were not received.
Such letters should have been sent via registered mail requiring acknowledgement by signature.
2. Their website has no information about the project.
3. Their website has no search capability to locate such information.
4. They declined to host the meeting.
5. No Tribal Council members attended this meeting.
I could go on and one but Justine Schmidt has done an excellent job and I can only add my support to her efforts and encourage every citizen to do likewise.
In conclusion there is only one thing to say and that is to say to the Nisqually Nation – Do The Right Thing – stop this project and start all over to include the larger community and if you decide to forward, compensate those that it will hurt; otherwise, they will lose credibility.
And thanks go to Commissioner Romero for doing this in spite of the fact she knew she was going to get a lot of flack.
Preston A. Collins, PE Retired
Click here for the YouTube video of Justine Schmidt at the Nisqually Jail public meeting, who “contends that the County had an obligation to notify the Thurston County citizens in the area, and failed to represent them adequately”.
“Justine Schmidt has organized a citizen effort that is attempting to stop the construction of a jail that is currently being built in their backyards.”
Ms. Schmidt and Paul Capra gave an impassioned plea to the Yelm City Council on September 27 for their support, who were tepid in their response, at best. The City of Yelm contracts with the Nisqually Tribe to provide jail facilities for those requiring such by the city.
Keven Graves is quoted from his November 25, 2005 editorial in the local newspaper:
“We (he & then Mayor-elect Harding) agree that a transparent government is better government.”
The lack of due process to include the public on the Nisqually Jail and the City of Yelm’s non-participation which they contract to receive services is far from an environment of being “a transparent government”.
– An unaware and uninvolved public are Yelm City Council’s greatest allies in carrying forth their agenda.