By David Anderson, Tillicum
Due to technical difficulties the show (and that’s all it was) entitled ‘Election for Purposes of Representation’ has been pre-empted to the program currently in progress: ‘The Golden Gate Bridge (Lakewood’s, not San Francisco’s) into Camp Murray’.
“Local governments are closest to the people and govern best,” writes Carl Neu, Jr., President of Neu and Company and Director of the Center for the Future of Local Governance. But unlike a suspension bridge that depends upon its towers, cables and girders for safety and strength, what normally would be expected to undergird a neighborhood’s safety and strength – representation – appears to have been suspended in Tillicum’s case.
Due to technical difficulties quite within the City of Lakewood’s control, the residents of Tillicum have discovered, after two rounds before the City’s own Hearing Examiner, that the community has been knocked out of the ring in the third round on its appeal protesting Camp Murray’s proposal to move its gate. Anti-climatically, Tillicum finds itself undone by “a technicality”. The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that “the city and military department had asked the court to dismiss the appeal because state law bars judicial review of right-of-way permits.”
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, or even an attorney-wannabe, to read the following and notice what the City had to have known all along. After all, they’ve got at least one attorney on the city payroll – at tax payers’ expense – and others who you would think would know the litigious endgame.
Here’s what Dave Bugher, assistant city manager of community development – of all things – and Community Development Director wrote in a letter to Thomas Skjervold, environmental programs manager – division of facilities and grounds for the Washington Military Department (WMD), i.e. Camp Murray. It’s the very first sentence on the very last page – 12 in all – of a rather scathing rebuke of the WMD’s gate-relocate proposal:
“A party still dissatisfied with the outcome (of the Hearing Examiner’s decision) could file an appeal in superior court.”
The letter is dated September 16, 2010 and clearly the subject matter being addressed by Bugher – who in no uncertain terms discounts every claim the WMD proposes by which their gate ‘needs’ to be moved – must by virtue of the military department’s gambit, if successful, be the elephant in the room: the right-of-way (ROW).
From Day One all dance partners invited – or dragged – to this legal tango knew that a ROW permit had at some point to be issued if WMD personnel were to realize their dream of frolicking around on their new “pedestrian-friendly campus” – a stroll-about expanse that was to be made possible by rerouting their traffic through the neighboring community of Tillicum.
Taking Bugher at his word, Tillicum was fully prepared as of two years ago to exhaust all avenues of appeal – including Superior Court.
As Bugher allowed.
From Day One.