Qualities of a leader
In speaking, as the saying goes, an unwise person speaks their mind without having much on it. A leader considers their words then speaks wisely, conscious of the impact on those they lead. When confronted with an error in judgment, a leader thinks, holds themselves accountable and commits to a better path. A person lacking wisdom stays the course and chooses words poorly, like “I don’t give a ____,” for example. I am glad the majority of our City Council chooses to represent us using the leadership route. It is an honor to be led by them.
Looks like fencing is going up on the former Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters for the first two of five warehouses to be constructed. At the east entrance of the former headquarters building near Highway 18. Will cause a lot of attention when trees are cut down as did a former effort to build a fish processing complex on this site about 5 years ago.
Education and beliefs
I believe education outcomes for children should never be determined by gender, ethnicity, financial status, religion, or any discriminator. I also believe some may have come to resent the initiatives addressing diversity, equity and inclusion as being detrimental to their own demographic interests or belief systems.
I certainly believe it is the responsibility and right of families to make important decisions on what their children believe. I also believe every child has the right to the opportunity to thrive despite historic and cultural barriers; like those that prevented some people the opportunity to explore a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Math (STEAM). These barriers also existed in other countries. America being a melting pot for the world can bring harmony across many shared interests, but it can also reveal conflicts between strongly held belief systems and our desire to support individual freedom and self-determination.
Our community across all demographics will face challenges as we move to make public schools a place every child can thrive. Be it acceptance of rules to keep children safe from gun violence, ensuring people of color, immigrants, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Gay, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ) children feeling welcome, safe and included at school, or encouraging academic pursuits without any gender or ethnic bias; I hope we can all be intentionally civil in being heard whenever our beliefs are challenged. Children need to feel hopeful and encouraged about their future and it starts by forging a community environment that is non-threatening, understanding and supportive.
In 2019, the city competed the evaluation of bids to provide a new contract for garbage and recycling services. Proposals from three bidders, Recology, Republic, and Waste Management were included in the analysis. In July 2019, the city awarded the new contract to Waste Management as the lowest cost bidder. We were told that the new contract would result in ratepayer costs totaling approximately $16 million in the first year.
In 2021, the first full year of the new contract, revenue from the 7.75% Solid Waste utility tax totaled $1.6 million which translates to ratepayer costs of $22.2 million. Unless I missed it, to date, the city has offered no explanation. Apparently, it is legal and ethical to continue collect more taxes from ratepayers than they were told to expect.
The big question is, since the Waste Management bid actually resulted in ratepayer costs of $22.2 million, was it still lower than the bids from Recology and Republic.