Earlier this year, the Puyallup City Council chambers overflowed with the news media and angry citizens who were there to protest a move by the Puyallup mayor to change council rules allowing free speech by citizens at council meetings.
Guidance from the state attorney general’s office stated that this new rule was in defiance of the Open Public Meetings Act. Even a local high school student eloquently spoke to the necessities of free speech.
Mayor Kathy Turner was outvoted by the other council members and freedom of speech was maintained.
Months later, Turner is at it again. This time her imposition against citizens’ rights has been unilaterally imposed by her.
At this week’s council meeting, two successive citizens (I was one of them) were “gaveled down” by Turner when the issues of her personal property tax abatement and the disposition of a burglary and vandalism case were raised. She outlined “her” new mandate that any such discussion pertaining to a sitting council member was “out of order.”
Puyallup should be embarrassed at this shameful act. The celebrations of July 4 just last week coupled with both “gaveled” citizens being Brits, just added farcical irony to Puyallup’s sham of open government.