The editorial board of the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT) recently endorsed the incumbents of the Lakewood City Council for the November 7 ballot.
Horror of horrors, to hear the TNT tell it, should Lakewood return to the “anti-incumbent fever” that infected the city when Lakewood Cares, described by the TNT as “a political insurgent group”, elected “a series of malcontents.”
Oh, the pain of it all that a government should “endure as much mistrust as Lakewood did in its first decade as a city,” drivels the TNT.
Well, FYI TNT, in the interest of journalistic integrity, something you would do well to reexamine, Lakewood Cares (Citizens for Accountability, Responsibility, Education and Service) had, from its inception, a better understanding – as history would prove – of what constitutes representative government than those then in government who were ostensibly elected to represent.
As a reminder – to the TNT and others – and I drive by it every day, there is a statue, a monument, a landmark, that stands as a testament to both a bungling bureaucracy and a single individual who fought city hall and won:
Complete with seafaring cap, pipe, beard and rainslicker, the 14’-tall carved-out-of-a-log, life-like caricature of my father still stands, proudly and prominently emblematic of one man’s struggle with an overbearing, overreaching, obtuse and obstinate government rolling bulldozer-like over the entire city landscape.
Dad wouldn’t be bulldozed.
A city code enforcement officer, with the then-city leaders’ blessing and encouragement – in violation of even written code policy – on June 1, 1998 – only two years since city incorporation – confiscated and trashed dad’s smallish-3-foot A-frame sign because they said, it was in the city right-of-way. No, they did not notify dad because, they said, it was not expedient.
Too many violators, not enough time.
So began the battle that would earn TNT coverage (although that was then and this is now) in an article dated January 8, 2000 given the aforementioned statue that continues to this day to grace the entrance to Bill’s Boathouse appeared anonymously that just-passed Christmas afternoon.
It was a gesture of support for dad’s battle against a city run amok.
And out of that battle was born Lakewood Cares which sponsored a rally at Pierce College to which nearly 500 attended. And from that rally this “political insurgent group” was successful in electing “a series of malcontents.”
Malcontents? Deplorables? Curmudgeons? May they and their ilk increase.
Years would go by but one day, in a council candidate forum, the question was asked by the moderator ‘what was the worst mistake the city ever made?’ And the answer of the one who would be mayor was, in light of the sign-code wars of those early years: “The sign code. We really blew the sign code.”
Dad would get, posthumous, his apology.
What the TNT Editorial Board has got wrong with its endorsement of the current slate of incumbents is what the TNT Editorial Board not infrequently gets wrong with their opinion that barely qualifies as print-worthy:
Principles – and character – matter.
One of the challengers of the Lakewood incumbents is Paul Wagemann. In each of the last three 28th District legislative primaries, in which Wagemann ran, the TNT endorsed his opponent. Wagemann won all three.
The TNT’s endorsement is a kiss of death.
Now the TNT supports John Simpson. Simpson supports marijuana.
So does the TNT. In fact, principles matter less to the TNT than pot profits. Said so themselves (November 22, 2016).
In opining Lakewood should drop its silly scruples and welcome pot shops, TNT’s Editorial Board wrote: “Principles are well and good but they don’t keep the lights on, and they don’t pay for recreation departments or police officers.”
Per the TNT (sad now to have to refer to them as a source of information), Simpson said “he would vote to allow retail marijuana in Lakewood not because he personally supports pot sales but because voters have spoken.”
Ironic Simpson’s rational for marijuana – “the voters have spoken” – and his support for the Rental Inspection Program (RIP).
Where, pray tell, did the voters speak in favor of the RIP, or Rental Housing Safety Program per the city’s vernacular? They did not. They were not asked. Those who did speak up, and by far the majority of those who have spoken up since the city imposed its will, have been decidedly against this top-down insistence by the city that warrantless searches are beside the point. Your humble abode will be inspected.
It is not expedient for the city to deal with property-violation offenders. All will comply.
Where have we heard that before?
It is the right-of-way battle all over again. The city is right and you are in the way.
With the Rental Inspection Program, we’ve come full-circle. Sick-lical you might say.
Put that in your pipe TNT and smoke it.