By David Anderson, Tillicum, CommunityMattersWeb.com
On September 16, 2010, Dave Bugher wrote a 12-page single-spaced letter basically shredding Camp Murray’s last attempt to put a gate at Portland Ave. Eleven different indictments.
Before the Tillicum Action Committee (TAC) the afternoon of July 18, 2011, Bugher said “new evidence” indicates Portland Ave. could work after all.
When challenged on these previously-held positions and asked to substantiate the new deal being made, Bugher indicated only that it was based on privileged and confidential information.
But listen to some of the reasons why Camp Murray’s proposal was not acceptable just 10 months ago, and now it is, and ask yourself if your elected representatives should not be asking the hard questions – and providing the answers to the public.
1. Bugher had written, “Camp Murray had not established the need.” Camp Murray said the gate relocation was a safety issue. Bugher wrote ‘show us the accident rates.’ Senator Carrell likewise has written that Camp Murray had not proved the necessity of gate relocation.
2. Camp Murray said I-5 congestion would be alleviated by moving the gate. Bugher wrote, ‘Not true.’ So too did Deputy Mayor Don Anderson, going so far as to say that a solution for Camp Murray’s traffic, short of additional lanes on I-5, was no more than “lipstick on a pig.” Don Anderson concluded his letter saying these traffic problems will “never be solved by relocation of a gate.”
3. Bugher furthermore flatly stated that Camp Murray’s gate relocation proposal was “no more than simply a matter of convenience.”
4. Bugher said the alternatives had not been thoroughly vetted, most particularly what’s called the South Gate on North Fort. At the TAC meeting both Col. Jeff Plug and Dave Bugher stated, “JBLB and the National Guard aren’t talking to one another.” That is not, or at least shouldn’t be, our problem. Senator Mike Carrell wrote that the south gate should be the priority. And Camp Murray admits in its EA of last year that the rigorous review of all options for gate relocation did not include that south gate because it did not fit its criteria which, among other things – perhaps the most important thing – to them anyway, was a pedestrian friendly campus. But I frankly fail to see why our neighborhood, which has been here as long as Camp Murray’s, should be made to suffer the consequences of their campus-friendly vision by running their traffic through our town.
5. Bugher said, “Keeping the main gate in its present location would strengthen the WMD’s position with WSDOT in terms of making demands upon reconstruction of the interchange.”
In a report to the City Council on October 4, 2010 Mayor Doug Richardson enthused, “One of the best things that’s happened in the last couple weeks is the formation of a new committee out in Tillicum which was an outstanding example of representative government really. Certainly they have worked hand in hand with their city council and city staff to work through issues in Tillicum.
Yet we are now told that as many as 3,000 pages have exchanged hands between Camp Murray and Lakewood just this year alone. And for all that praise of the Tillicum Committee that worked “hand-in-hand with Council and staff”, not one of those pages has passed through the hands of those most impacted by this new deal.
Substantive answers should be demanded as to reasons why a document Deputy Mayor Don Anderson called “grossly deficient” now isn’t.
To do otherwise is unacceptable.
Note: All statements in this letter are supported by available Public Disclosure documents.
John Arbeeny says
Follow the money. $1.2 million is all it took to buy this city council’s vote. If a private citizen did this it would be called a bribe. You know what they call someone who bends over for money don’t you?
Jeff Brewster says
I didn’t see David Anderson at last night’s community meeting in Tillicum, but “unacceptable” was NOT the neighborhood’s collective message to the City of Lakewood. All the issues mentioned above were fully addressed at the meeting. Citizens certainly had some disagreements – with the city and with each other – but overall, there was a very healthy, candid, and informative dialogue on a variety of traffic issues. The City made the case that after thoroughly studying all the traffic data (much of it new) and reviewing all options, a new gate at Portland Ave was in the long term best interests of the neighborhood and Camp Murray. Sufficient mitigating measures will be put in place to ensure Portland Ave is not overloaded with traffic. Regardless, the gate will eventually need to be moved because a new I-5 interchange at Berkeley (which is long overdue and unfunded, but inevitable) will not accommodate the current gate location.
City of Lakewood
David Anderson says
As with the instance when you were out of town Jeff on reserve duty, I have a business that has boats on the water and, as it turned out, a starter cord broke on one of our rentals and motors had to be exchanged at 8 p.m.
As to the issues Bugher had 10 months ago and the flip-flop of positions now, little of the data presented explain the switch.
Ditto what you wrote.
Brian Dennery says
In regards to Mr. Brewster’s snipe at Dave Anderson above, I am totally in awe that a Communications Director for the City of Lakewood is completely missinformed. Fact: Mr. Brewster we taxpayers pay your salary. Fact: Mr. Brewster we do not expect city officials to write diragatory comments about civic leaders. Fact: Mr. Anderson does need not attend all meetings for Tillicum to be represented. Fact: I did not see Mr.Brewster at the pre-meeting in the city hall chambers at 16:30 on July 19,2011.(If I missed you, please accept my apology)
Request: Mayor Richardson, please have Mr. Bewster, Communication Director for the City of Lakewood, comments reviewed by you prior to release. Obviously he has contempt for Mr. Anderson and the Tillicum Community by his comment and his representation of the city in writing. In fact a written appology is in order from Mr. Brewster and that he, in the future, not represent his city position in written comments, but shall label his comments without his city position if he has any comments. Mr. Brewster should know better, since he is our Communications Director. This is SOP.
Request: Mayor Richardson, I request that you state the City’s official position on this matter of the gate so that the City of Lakewood will make an official stand that it is either supporting its residents (taxpayers) or not. Request: Please have the communications director furnish an update as to the cost incurred to date by the city in this matter to include the previous years and this years costs. I as a taxpayer would like to see the accountability for representing me and others on this gate matter. (We don’t need a FOIA for this)
Finally, I am a Military Veteran and a taxpayer. Tillicum is made up of MANY military veterans and active duty. Most of all, we are taxpayers and citizens. To think that what I and others faught for and pay for is so completely erroded, that with the slightest whisper of wind, our city government sways in the wind, is disgusting. I know, “Why don’t you move to some other place”? I could move some other place, but I choose not to. To cut to the quick, I demand, not ask for, representation by government, the City of Lakewood, and that its officials do what the majority of citizens, voters and taxpayers want and demand!!! I also recommend that Mr. Buhger, Mr. Brewster and others working for us, attend sensitivity training courses. Use our money for a good thing.
David Anderson says
Oh, and BTW – July 20th was the one-year anniversary of the first notice we had that Camp Murray was planning to relocate their gate at the end of Portland Ave. The way we found out? A press release from Camp Murray.
But that was then and this is now. Now, one year later, on the exact same day, with the exact same pressure with Federal financial deadlines (use it or lose it), we are told – this time by the City of Lakewood that there will be a gate at the end of Portland Ave.
Might it be that the 50 pages of complaint letters prepared by Tillicum residents last year played perfectly into the City’s hands, giving them the leverage they needed to tell Camp Murray – ‘Look, Tillicum residents are not happy with YOUR proposal. So either pay up for OUR proposal or you don’t get your gate.’
You don’t suppose that Tillicum residents have been played for fools do you?
How else to explain city staff’s refusal to divulge what happened in the interim?
Jeff Brewster says
I’m not sure what I said to provoke your wrath, but I’d be happy to talk or meet anytime. My phone # is listed above. For the record, I wasn’t taking a swipe at Mr. Anderson, though I can see how you took it that way. I was simply making the observation that the issues he took very strong exception to before the meeting were fully addressed at the meeting.
Have a good day, sir.