With less than a week left to vote, I am sure I am not alone in wondering if all voters have been reached for Bothell City Council. However, the ferocity surrounding this campaign has proven to be more than most in the past. People are commenting on the Reporter online as if this is the be-all, end-all election. This should be one of the biggest turnouts ever.
Despite who wins, don’t forget that they still work for us after they have been elected. It is time to turn our sights toward our continued involvement after the election — starting with a recommendation to take another look at visitor comments. The City Council has already diminished accessibility to the greatest possible degree while still offering a meager three minutes. The Planning Commission recently followed suit restricting public comment to a whopping five minutes. They continued to have the inane discussion over whether or not they should allow people to “combine their minutes” and how they will discourage multiple people from talking about the “same thing.” Please!
For both City Council and the Planning Commission, the public should always go first. If the crowd is large for an agenda item that is scheduled late, it should be rescheduled to be first. If there are only one or two speakers, time should be flexible. For divisive issues, there should be a roundtable meeting offered off-site, for example, at the senior center or Lytle House. Regardless of who sits on the City Council or Planning Commission, the public should continue to be heard and heard first.