The following story filed after last night’s City Council meeting in Port Angeles. Newly minted mayor, Pat Downie was telephoning in his appearance while vice mayor Cherie Kidd acted as mayor. Downie got all flustered at the last council meeting when democracy broke out in front of him. Perhaps he thought Kidd would be the new “heavy” so he phones in his appearance so Kidd could act as mayor.
When taxpayers began filing into the council chambers last night carrying protest signs, acting mayor Kidd approached a husband/wife team to announce her new policy: “No signs in council chambers,” she said. These two replied “you were elected to serve and not to dictate.” Kidd then went to the back of the room apparently looking for someone to enforce “her” new dictum. Finding no one to enforce her new rule she returned to the dais and ignored the signs.
Later the crowd of approximately 80 taxpayers were treated to a new Kidd inspired rule. Many taxpayers signed up and lined up for the Public Comment session.
The public comment session at the last council meeting lasted almost two hours. Last night Kidd announced the public comment session is limited to only 30 minutes whereupon those that did not get to speak to the council erupted in jeers.
Kidd defended her limiting the public comment period saying there is a second public comment period at the end of the council meeting. When the second public comment period began Kidd gaveled it closed after one speaker. She then gaveled the meeting adjourned without even a vote of the council. This is dictatorial and proof that this council is 4-3 out of control. The following is an eye witness report of the council’s antics last night.
Tonight was a red letter day at the Port Angeles city council. You’ll
be able to see the way the council, lead by Cherie Kidd, overtly tried
every thing they could do to shut out the public.
First, signs were put up telling the public THEIR signs would not be
allowed in the council chambers. No prior notice. No discussion. No
Then, Cherie did everything she could to interrupt and disrupt what
speakers tried to say. ” Your time is up”, she told the first speaker
after a minute. The speaker replied: “I’m timing my comments, and I
still have 2 minutes”. She did this with every speaker, obviously
intentionally harassing them.
Then Cherie cut off public comment after a half an hour, although
there was a long list of people signed up to speak. People who took time
out of their lives to come and speak to their elected representatives at
the advertised time. No prior notice. No discussion. No public
consultation about the changes. Only weeks after the council expanded
the public comment time, because “we really want to hear from you”. Only
if you say things they want to hear!
But, even though Cherie cut off the public, most all stayed because
she said ” There is an opportunity later in the meeting.”
Cherie cut off the first speaker at the second round of “Public
Comment”, and adjourned the meeting unilaterally, without a vote.
The place went wild.
Cherie and Gase left, The public wouldn’t leave the room or the podium.
Councilman Brad Collins left his seat, but stayed to hear the speakers.
Lee Whetham took over, and invited anyone who wanted to speak, to continue.
Everyone who wanted to speak, did. Sissi Bruch, Mike Merideth, Lee
Whetham and most of the city’s dedicated Staff stayed to listen to the public. To their credit.
One person spoke, saying what happening tonight was “intolerable”,
and served to prove the four have to be removed from office. Absolutely.
It will be interesting to see how the PDN spins what happened tonight.
Cherie could not have done more to justify all efforts to have her
(and her cronies) removed from office. No one, regardless of their
political persuasion, can defend what she/they did tonight.