Not all of the Edmonds City Council members believe that “criminal behavior” occurred or that a “punishment” needs to be “handed out” regarding non-prior approval of change orders on Haines Wharf Park. These are ridiculous, self-serving statements at best.
I voted for a preliminary investigation in order to get the information and facts out correctly to the citizens of our great city. Right now we have a lot of speculation about former elected as well as former staff that are being found guilty by current elected and in the press. To not investigate and release the facts is not transparency in itself to the citizens. No one connected with the communication failure of Hanes Wharf Park should fear this. Mistakes happen. We are human.
I see no harm in reasonably investigating where “we” went wrong and how “we” need to make sure this doesn’t occur in the future. I say “we” as the city council also has an obligation to review all expenditures which are given to us on a routine basis. In this case, we also need to investigate ourselves.
Policies and procedures regarding change orders and approval over a certain amount need to be in place and followed. I question why some knew about this “Failure of Law” a year ago according to the paper and didn’t discuss with all of Edmonds City Council until now, election time. Edmonds Councilwomen Diane Buckshnis tried to tell the council and the public about irregulars in the financials during this past year and she was summarily dismissed by many of the elected and some staff.
Most bothersome is the political and personal implications of this. If you have followed the city politics at all you are aware of a council person who is running for reelection’s personal vendetta toward Mr. Haakenson. When they were both serving the infighting became uncomfortable and intolerable for the rest of us. Currently, this person takes every opportunity while on camera, during our meetings to insult Mr. Haakenson, who is vigorously supporting a particular other candidate running in Edmonds.
Using the City of Edmonds money and its citizens for political gain during an election is the nastiest of politics. This in my opinion is democracy at its worse, not its best, as some will argue. I hope everyone waits to judge the Haines Wharf project and change orders when the facts are investigated.
Just because I know the question will be said of me: Mr. Haakenson supported and endorsed my opposition both times I ran for city council and he has given me no campaign money. I am not a close personal friend of Mr. Haakenson. I have no dog in this fight except what I believe to be ethics, principles, money and the ideals of our citizens.
Edmonds City Council