I must write and encourage folks to review the Aug. 13 council minutes online and ask themselves who is minding the store? It will be noted that all of the attending council — with the exception of Fred Chang — elected to retain Dee Coppola as a city planning commission member despite the fact that she has moved from the city and despite questions that were raised by public comment regarding the legality of having now two individuals on the commission who reside outside the city.
She spoke on her own behalf noting that she was still involved with the city due to two businesses she and her husband, our previous mayor, own. It will also be noted that our previous mayor appointed his wife to the commission just prior to his leaving office.
My point being, I feel distrustful that she can fully represent the residents of Port Orchard while having chosen to give up citizenship. How does this keep her perspectives balanced? Where is the safeguard from being swayed by business interests if she does not have to live with the results?
Port Orchard has more than 12,000 residents, surely there is one person who fits all the qualifications who can step in until the term expires in 2015. With a general lull in the city planning commission docket, is this not an opportune time to seek out someone better suited to represent all aspects of the city's people, not just business?
My question and concern being: What is the bulk of council thinking? Is it so hard to see the residents are represented as fully as possible? Isn’t that their job? Is it appropriate that someone who chooses to leave our city for residence elsewhere retain their influence over the planning of our city?
I encourage everyone to pay attention to what goes on in council meetings. Watch them online or better yet, attend them and speak up. It is our city and it is up to us to voice our thoughts and work together. Otherwise, we have little to complain about and once the die is cast, it is a lot harder to change.
Elissa Whittleton | Port Orchard