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Routinely bad procedures at Bothell Council meetings; vote for Samberg | Letter
On Sept. 17, the Bothell City Council, led by Mayor Mark Lamb, exhibited a high level of disrespect for their fellow citizens and our legal government process when they voted to initiate the process for abolishing the Shoreline Hearings Board. Unfortunately, this was yet another example of what has become routinely bad procedures at Bothell City Council meetings.
For 39 years, the Bothell Shoreline Hearings Board has played an important roll in drafting shoreline regulations for two key water bodies in the city of Bothell - the Sammamish River and North Creek. OUr extensive waterway trail system and our associated wetlands are a community asset enjoyed by thousands. Staffing requirements for the board are minimal except during the seven-year shoreline program review, the cost for which is born substantially by state grants.
Bothell advertised the vacancies for the board, scheduled, notified and interviewed three candidates. On Sept. 17 the adopted agenda item was publicized for the appointment of three Shoreline Hearings Board members. However, this vote was aborted when Joshua Freed, with no prior notice, made a motion to consider elimination of the board.
Three council members opposed the motion on procedural grounds. It was also argued that the vote was inappropriate at this final stage of the process. The vote was three to three, a tie vote, which under Roberts Rules of Order is a failed vote. Mayor Lamb ruled the vote passed. When fellow council members raised a point of order to the council chair, Lamb's response was to challenge his fellow council members who disagreed to "appeal" his decision - that the tie vote was valid.
Unfortunately, such procedures at Bothell City Council meetings are not a rarity. Disrespect for citizens, for fellow council members and for proper voting procedures occur at almost every public meeting. A new level of disregard was reached when the motion to consider eliminating the board was allowed to proceed with an illegal vote, no notice, during an agenda item for board appointments at the completion of the citizen application and interview process.
Bothell citizens who value their environment and their right for a respectful and legal governmental process should vote on Nov. 5 for an independent council representative. Tris Samberg is that person. Her opponent, Steve Booth, has been funded and endorsed by Mark Lamb and Joshua Freed.
Vote for a person who values citizen input and good government. Please vote. It counts.
Ann Aagaard, Bothell