Letter to the editor: Bob Wilcox the right choice for Edmonds City Council

To the editor:

I have been reading various postings supporting the election of Diane Buckshnis. The writers are probably quite familiar with the volunteer work that she has done, but the primary source of their familiarity with her city council work is her propaganda machine. They have attended few, if any, council meetings, and have shown up at zero council finance committee meetings. Had they attended some of those meetings they undoubtedly would now have different opinions.

It is very interesting that nobody had previously vocalized, or had written about, any problem understanding our city’s budgets. This only became a problem when Ms. Buckshnis, as a citizen, started to attend council meetings. That was at a time when the Fire District 1 contract was being discussed. She made incorrect accusations about problems with the contract. She became relentless with her false claims about our city’s financial statements after being appointed a council member in 2010. I am still waiting to see a listing of the alleged improvements Ms. Buckshnis has brought about.

Ms. Buckshnis has caused a financial ordinance to be adopted by city council. Now she laments that the ordinance is not being adhered to. Unfortunately it was adopted before anyone made an assessment about the finance department’s ability to comply – the resources do not exist to do what the ordinance mandates. The interim finance director director has said that 3 additional staff members would be needed.

Ms. Buckshnis apparently asked questions earlier about the spending in excess of budget for the new Haines Wharf Park. However simply moaning about an issue is not enough. She should have taken action to cause council to review this project more than one year ago when she started talking about it.

And yes, Ms. Buckshnis has had a great education and an impressive working career. But what’s now relevant is her track record for the nearly 21 months she has been an appointed member of our city council. That record was obviously deemed not to be impressive by the majority of those voting in the primary election; 55% of those voters want Ms. Buckshnis replaced! In November the right choice is to elect Bob Wilcox.

Ron Wambolt

  1. Ron – There is not one word in your letter about why Mr. Wilcox would be a good addition to the City Council. That is what I hoped to hear based on the title of your letter, but you only mention him in your last two words, and there is nothing said about his strengths and why citizens should vote for him. To top it all off, you blatantly mis-characterize primary results in which approximately 30 votes separated Mr. Wilcox and Ms. Buckshnis.

    I personally know several of the citizens who have written letters supporting Diane, (as do you), and can state with some certainty that they are very aware of what is going on in the City. Attendance at meetings is not necessary to stay on top of city activities and actions – the City website, Channel 21 and this website are just a few of the ways available for citizens to stay up to date.

    Come on Ron, let’s see if you can’t get some positive comments going! Tell us why we should vote for Bob, instead of continuing your personal vendetta against Diane.

  2. The headline of this article should be Why I Don’t Like Diane Buckshnis In this entire letter the only fact that we learn about Bob Wilcox is that he’s running against Councilmember Buckshnis. Hopefully this is not new information to anyone reading this letter.

    Mr. Wambolt is exploiting the fact that Councilmember Buckshnis has a record of public service. I’m not going to try to respond point by point to his litany of criticism. There no question her record is imperfect. To compare the imperfections of her service to Mr. Wilcox’s complete lack of any record to judge him by is at best unfair.

    Ya gotta love the selective use of election statistics in the last paragraph. You can also conclude from the primary results that 55% of voters do not want Bob Wilcox on the City council. But that conclusion is as silly as the one Mr. Wambolt makes.

    Mr. Wambolt decries that some of Councilmember Buckshnis’ claims do not have the proof he desires. Yet he concocts the notion of a “propaganda machine” with no supporting evidence whatsoever. He says “they” have not shown up at city council meetings without even saying who “they” are. Please. If you are going to criticize others for unsupported claims, perhaps you should first support your own.

    What does Mr. Wambolt think would have been different if serious investigations into the Haines Wharf had occurred a year earlier. If he thinks they should have started back then, why didn’t he say so back then?

    I was really hoping this year to learn why I should vote for candidates like Bob Wilcox. But neither he nor his supporters have yet given me anything meaningful. With all the lines of communication open to him, all I really know is he’ll use “common sense”. I wish I knew what “common sense” means to him. To me, “common sense” says I won’t vote for the candidate I don’t understand.

  3. John:

    I expect you’ll get your answers about Bob Wilcox at the three candidates’ forums being held next month. What I expect you won’t get at those forums is the factual information that I’ve been providing about Ms. Buckshnis.

    Yes, the votes received by Wilcox and Buckshnis were essentially equal, but my experience from previous primaries indicates that the 786 votes received by Mr. Helke were primarily votes against the incumbent. We’ll have to wait for the general election to know for certain. Nevertheless my statement is correct – 55% of those voting said they wanted Ms. Buckshnis replaced.

    Ms. Buckshnis has presented herself as a financial expert and has been, and still is, on the finance committee. Those meetings are not taped and only very sketchy minutes are produced. I attend those meetings. None of the letter writers have ever attended those meetings to see Ms. Buckshnis in action. For some reason Lorenzo Hines produced an audio CD of the February 9, 2010 meeting. I invite you to get a copy of it from the city.

  4. Anybody can write a letter to the editor expressing their opinions. We have run several in support of Ms. Buckshnis and other candidates. You are welcome to write one as well.

  5. I would agree that this letter would have been stronger, if you had spoken positively about Bob or, at a minimum, done a comparison of their qualifications.

  6. Ron W said: Nevertheless my statement is correct – 55% of those voting said they wanted Ms. Buckshnis replaced.

    Sorry Ron, your statement is not factually correct. The voters didn’t say anything – they simply voted in approximately equal numbers for Buckshnis & Wilcox. Your statement is just pure spin.

  7. “Nevertheless my statement is correct – 55% of those voting said they wanted Ms. Buckshnis replaced.”

    Well, if we draw the conclusions that you do from primaries, then in 2009 56% of voters wanted Strom Peterson replaced. Oh, and 68% of voters wanted then-Councilmember Wambolt replaced…just sayin.

  8. Ray:

    So I’m “off tack again”. Tell me where my facts have been wrong. Are you telling me that you also believe her dumb claim that $400,000 was removed from the REET funds in 2009?

    And Joe Morgan, or whomever you really are, Ray is quite capable of answering for himself.

  9. Ron W.

    Let me answer your question about being “off track again”, both the Accounting footnote and the Ms. Buckshnis post were clear and about Fund 126.

    You provided a city accounting document related to Fund 125.

    I think everyone knows including you that the former Mayor spent $725,000 more than appropriated in the City’s Budget, Capital Facilities Plan and Capital Improvement Plan without legislative authorization and open public discussion.

    Please reread the post and footnote and explain your confusion.

  10. Ron W, comment #10.

    I don’t really understand your concern. I have neither the desire nor the ability to suppress Ray’s comments. Nor have I ever claimed to speak for him or anyone else. He’s always been quite clear that nobody can control what he does or does not do. And I agree, he is quite capable.

  11. Finis:

    Good observation, but I’m not confused. Ms. Buckshnis was referring to the REET budget. The budget for 125 and 126 are identical – they each receive 0.25% excise tax on real estate sales. When Ms.Buckshnis created this issue last year the tabular information she supplied was for 125 budget. I am forwarding Teresa the chain of emails and asking her to send on to you as I can’t find your address.

  12. Why doesn’t Mr. Wilcox take the time to tell us in detail why we should vote for him? It’s up to him to prove himself worthy. I don’t think it’s realistic for 25,000 voters to get to know him.

    In case you or Mr. Wilcox (or Ms. Stern) are still confused about what I want, take a look at these websites:
    Each of these candidates has taken the time to give us a good picture of their views on many issues. Any voter who is not well informed on this race has only themselves to blame.

    1. Note that we have a video interview with Bob Wilcox here and that you can learn more about the candidates during several forums scheduled during the next two weeks. My Edmonds News will be livestreaming Monday night’s forum from the Edmonds Center for the Arts, starting at 7 p.m. You can access that live feed here.

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