My siblings and I were educated by an excellent public school system. We learned lessons about the political process, the judicial system, the checks and balances. Perhaps the most important lesson we learned was that a democracy DEPENDS on active participation of its citizenry in order to prevent government from running amuck.
My Yankee uncle was fond of saying, “It is incumbent upon you, as a US citizen- to vote and to participate in YOUR government.”
Well, readers? Edmonds is amuck: both the city and the school district. As an ordinary citizen, I thought that the mayor, the city councilmembers, elected and non-elected officials (city attorney) would follow the law. Not interfere with public process. Respect the rights and interests of ALL citizens, not just a small (but vocal) demographic of organized sports. I presumed that the city administration, and other public officials (elected or not) would conduct the business of the City of Edmonds in a fair, informed, transparent and honest manner. Boy, was I naïve!
The development of the soccer fields on the renamed “Woodway Campus”, provides examples of shockingly bad behavior by a great many people.
The Edmonds School District should act on behalf of the best interests of its students (that means children, not adults.) The ESD should make decisions that safeguard children’s health, not jeopardize the health of children. The ESD should plan and act with long-term goals in mind… we can reasonably predict that children will still need education in the future. We can reasonably predict that environmental education will be among the most essential components of education and development if life-skills.
Far-reaching activities, with multi-year effects, should solicit and respond to citizen input. All applicable laws should be followed every step of the way. “No one is above the law.” This principle seems often overlooked, but should guide decisions. Wouldn’t you think we could count on this happening in our fair city? I certainly did.
Citizen input has been at times received, but entirely ignored. Hearings have been held, but recommendations by the Examiner and subsequent decisions by the City Council have been circumvented, if not blatantly ignored. Permits have been manipulated. People at the top of the City Parks and Rec, City Planning Division and others, have acted in a biased, unethical manner.
A fair and judicious process has not taken place. And for that, we are all the worse off.