Last week I wrote about being disappointed by all the political games and obstruction at our city council meetings. This week I have become convinced that some of our city leaders only want to continue those games and obstruct official business from proceeding. There are now three pages of amendments proposed to the city budget ranging from cruel to absurd.
Diane Buckshnis wants to completely defund our new Police Department Community Engagement Program; after publicly congratulating Tabatha Shoemake on being hired for this position, she wants to have her fired. She also wants to completely remove our Human Services Division — you know, the division newly formed to help community members in need, from people needing support due to the pandemic, COVID grant funds and the like, to say an elderly person needing help fixing a leaking roof, to someone facing homelessness and needing support and information on resources available to them. Back to defunding the police, Buckshnis wants to eliminate pre-employment medical assessments for Police Department and remove one-time funds for assessment centers to assist with hiring in the police department. She wants to remove more jobs too, including Park Planning and Capital Project Manager, the REDI Program Manager, and the part-time office help for Human Resources.
Buckshnis and Kristiana Johnson have amendments to remove ongoing building repairs and maintenance, remove citywide carpet cleaning service, remove facilities maintenance vehicles. Buckshnis and Vivian Olson want to remove the solar grant program, and Buckshnis wants to end restoration projects for both the Edmonds Marsh and Perrinville Creek. So much for having an interest in our environment and the safety and well-being of our community members.
What is going on here if obstruction and delay isn’t the number one goal? How do any of these amendments help our city to thrive? City council meeting tonight will certainly be interesting.