EXCELLENT article 08/07 in Port O Call about the EDC actually being “a force for evil and not good”, and questioning the PDN’s obvious support of the EDC, the Port, and other entrenched local institutions and businesses – including our declining forest industries.
YES, the EDC, contrary to it’s public posture, is actually keeping investment, better wages, and new companies out of Clallam County, and YES, the taxpayers should demand defunding and closure of this organization immediately. P.A.’s long history of corruption and “good-ol-boy” management has to stop. One hundred + years is enough. Here’s one more opportunity to demand a change.
And, after all, we are spending quite a bit of public money on the EDC, for NO public benefit – easily noted by anyone who stops to look. Ah, what public good we could do with that funding instead – training for jobs, meal and housing assistance, emergency healthcare, low-cost day-care for working single moms, senior assistance – who knows? Let’s set better priorities for use of our hard-earned tax dollars.
To get any real change, Clallam, and Jefferson and other Peninsula counties’ Commissioners, of course must be held accountable across the board. Plus, we always have to keep looking for, and convincing, good candidates to run for these positions. Yet I know we have many dedicated and thoughtful peeps out there. An engaged public will really help this happen.
Having an elected County Council of say, five members, instead of just three commissioners, and an elected County Exec to manage the actual nuts and bolts of the county ledger, would help solve some of the BS factor we live with now. Fraud is more difficult with that structure. There’s less opportunity for the “cloaked wheeling and dealing” that’s going on now between the Port, anchor businesses, and any existing Commissioner. P.A. also needs an elected Mayor, of course. Is our modest population a limiting factor? NO. Only non-engaged voters are.
We can always use improvement in accountability and transparency. With an elected county Council/Exec/city Mayor and other offices, the balance of power is better. Wastefulness and scamming is easier to spot and eradicate. We can better participate and follow what goes on, and have more opportunities to protest (or even litigate) if things are not looking above board or are going off the rails. There can be a chance for more opinions and discussion at Council meetings, and more diversity among it’s members.
Let’s work to change our city and county governance – and I notice some P.A. folks have in fact been mounting a petition drive to do so. Wash. State W.A.C. (our Wash. Administrative Code) allows this.
AS for the PDN being somewhat of a patsy for existing larger businesses, the forest industry, the Port, military expansion, etc… that’s obvious, but I doubt there’s much hope for any real change, especially with the new Canadian corporate ownership. This type of behavior is a long-standing M.O. with the PDN; ask any of us who’ve grown up here. There’s been no real challenge to their de-facto monopoly of the readership, even though advertising income has fallen with the general decline of newspapers everywhere.
Having the Port O Call as some kind of alternative is certainly a help. I appreciate your willingness to present serious and difficult topics, and discuss problems we need to face head-on. I wish your paper could expand to the full Peninsula’s readership, and cover issues important to all our communities. It is sorely needed.
Reforming media and maintaining it’s journalistic integrity is always important – an ongoing process, yet one essential for the functioning and improvement of any civil society. Without a thoughtful, energetic and responsible free press, “we got nuthin’.” NO democracy, few opportunities, and a poorer quality of life.