Freedom of speech, assembly died last night

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
public consultation.

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.

10 Comments

  1. StopPoisoningUs

    The council can make their own rules of protocol. But even making a rule has its own rules. Like so many matters here, those rules are not even known to the council, much less followed. Invalidates anything Ms. Deputy says.
    Then she walks out of a still-live meeting, nice touch.

    The F4 cannot hide their utter contempt for the citizens (none of whom are “corporate citizens”). They have already sold this town to outsiders. Now they have declared all-out WAR against us!

    Reply
  2. Nadia Seymour

    I think it is gravely important to point out that Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd did everything she could to harass and bait people in the audience.

    Cherie Kidd was intentionally rude to the public at every opportunity, trying to make the experience of coming to participate in the public’s business as unpleasant as possible.

    Cherie Kidd was clearly trying to get members of the audience angry, so that they would start yelling back at her actions, and therefore justify her shutting down public comment.

    The video record will demonstrate this for anyone to see for themselves.

    This is clearly way beyond acceptable behaviour for a Port Angeles public representative. Even fellow council member Lee Weltham objected to Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd’s actions and behaviours.

    Former Mayor Karen Rogers recently wrote of the breakdown in civility, and the City’s descent into “complete chaos”. Those in attendance at the City Council meeting last night witnessed the truth of those concerns, with Cherie Kidd’s totally unacceptable actions.

    Cherie Kidd lost all credibility, and should resign from the council immediately.

    Reply
    1. maria

      Cherie Kidd needs to be tossed out on her head. What an idiot.

      Reply
  3. Pete

    Audio recordings here:
    http://65.243.149.132/weblink8/

    For those with the time, the public comment starts in segment 2, and the attempted adjournment at 18 minutes into the 5th segment.

    Reply
  4. Rose Marschall

    This was quite appalling to see. I was at this event and the shutting down of public comment because you do not like what someone is saying was astonishing. Cheri Kidd needs to resign, immediately. She has shown she does not really want to work with the people and serve them. She was very rude to the public, loudly cutting them off not allowing them to summarize their comments even.

    Reply
    1. maria

      I demand a resignation of Cherie Kidd and the F4!

      Reply
  5. Mike Libera

    As one of the organizers of the movement to either eliminate fluoride from what was once some of the best drinking water on Earth or eliminate the members of a City Council elected to serve the People of the Community who elected them, I was proud to announce to the Citizens present at that meeting that we had procured that very day over 70 signatures on the petition that will someday bring this issue back to the Public to decide. It appears to me the arrogance and intransigence of the “fluoride-four” is playing right into our hands. Frankly, they are my BEST salespeople. . .

    Reply
  6. Neville Aitken

    As a Sequimite who spends a lot of time in Port Angeles I respectfully request that the people of Port Angeles recall Kidd and Downie. While you are about it, recall the other two Flouride Freaks on the council. This is the only way you will stop them poisoning your water. It is also the only way you will get decent city government. The city can be shut down by a simple campaign. When restaurants start closing because visitors don’t want to drink soda, coffee and tea made from your poisoned water people will take note. When the local bottling company loses sales because people will not buy soda bottled, or canned, here, people will notice. When you put signs on drinking fountains saying “Poison – contains flouride, a known carcinogen” people will notice. When you rent a few billboards coming into town and post signs warning about the water in PA with a recommendation not to eat or drink in the city, people will notice.
    Just Saying.

    Reply
  7. Rebel with a Cause

    Kudos to Lee Whetham, Sissy Bruch and Mike Merideth for wearing our red badge of courage and standing up for our cause! While Peninsula Daily News in usual “candy coat” mode puts the best face on Ms. Kidd’s behavior for those who were not there to experience her loss of control — of the meeting and of self. But those of us on the receiving end of her bullying are telling it like it was. Cheri wasn’t elected because she’s smart or she’s pretty, NO, she was elected by those who want to keep the status quo. We call on all citizens to join our cause: to sign the petition for change of form of government, to attend council meetings carrying a sign and to enlist responsible candidates for the next election. Go to yes4cleanwater.org for assistance in signing the petition. Enough is enough! Let’s clean city hall by ousting the Fluoride Four!

    Reply
  8. Ella Washington

    The Clallam Eye video doesn’t show one of the most offensive bits of the comment period, unfortunately. The first row was packed with dentists and their staff, glorying in their power. During one of public comments, not only was Kidd paying no attention to the speakers, she actually started laughing, looking at one of the dentists. I do wish that had been caught on video. Who butters YOUR bread, Ms Kidd?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*