[Vision2020] Very little public discussion

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Oct 26 02:54:45 PDT 2017

Courtesy of today’s (October 26, 2017) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with thanks to Joann Muneta.

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Letter: Very little public discussion

Recently, a letter to the editor (Steve Busch, Oct. 20) advised readers to vote for all the incumbents running for office in Moscow, to maintain the current team. I would point out that ours is not a one-party government system. We don't vote for a "team;" we want to elect good individuals who think for themselves and represent the interests of our diverse, inclusive, livable community.

More and more, we see in Moscow that items are decided in the council's Administrative or Public Works/Finance committees during afternoon meetings, then put on the consent agenda and passed by the full council without any public discussion or often, even awareness. Very little council or public discussion happens at all. For citizens trying to bring up important city issues, this is not healthy or productive, especially when their input is not received with follow-up and thoughtful consideration. We need inquiring, thoughtful representatives, not yes-men and women.

When the mayor stated at a quasi-judicial meeting that all downtown businesses favored the expansion of New St. Andrews College, no one questioned his inaccurate, inappropriate assertion. When he said the issue of a pedestrian bridge on Third Street would be discussed publicly in June, and then put half-a-million dollars for a motor bridge in the budget in April, no councilor even questioned that deception.

Council accomplishments such as a downtown restroom and pledging money from the Hamilton Fund for ice rink expansion have been made when citizens were listened to and their concerns discussed. Instead of avoiding difficult issues, we need more such discussion and citizen participation. As a City Council candidate writes, "It is the council's job to make citizen engagement easy and local government accessible to all." Let's keep Moscow as a shining example of a community working together with a government responsive to all citizens. Vote Nov. 7.

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Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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