Letters to the Editor

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TILLICUM: Good people can make bad decisions

Letter by David G. Anderson, Lakewood on Sep. 9, 2010 at 11:23 am with 1 Comment »
September 9, 2010 2:28 pm

Re: “Military doing a good job – of alienating neighbors” (editorial, 9-9).

The Camp Murray gate relocation is a bad idea.

Good people in short-term political positions sometimes make bad long-term, community-impacting decisions. The fate of our Tillicum community – its livability and individual homeowners’ and business owners’ single greatest lifetime investment in property – likely rests in the hands of those we elected to represent us.

Another aspect of community life that will be affected by the Lakewood City Council’s decision on whether to allow the gate relocation is the organized, mobilized and energized populace who, while they certainly do not live in the same economic or social strata, do have a far more powerful ally: one another. They live in and care about the same square mile they call home.

Tillicum residents are disgruntled, to be sure, but we are not fractionalized. And, as the editorial noted, we vote. An increasingly dissatisfied and distrusting public is a harbinger of what will happen each November.

Tillicum has abundantly proved it belongs in what Suzanne Morse calls “smart communities.” Smart communities, Morse writes in her book by that title, are those where “citizens and local leaders use strategic thinking to build a brighter future.”

The good news is, what happens here does not stay here. The model that has been created and the mannerisms of the people that have been demonstrated can be exported.

“Tillicum is,” as one city councilman put it, “fiercely independent.” But we are also interdependent.

Elected leaders: We’re depending on you.

(Anderson is president of the Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association.)

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. wa_govwatch says:

    Yesterday, Congressman Adam Smith told his Advisory Council: “I am opposed to moving the gate at this time.” His rationale joined that of many other thoughtful officials when he explained that a 63% increase of Tillicum traffic is just too high, and that there are other options to explore. I am hopeful that similar rational thought will prevail, and that the moving of the gate will, at minimum, be stayed until other options have been fully explored and discussed in public. I am still asking the Lakewood council, specifically Walter Neary the council liaison to the Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Committee, why such an obvious transportation issue was never presented to this transportation committee for public review, testimony, and opinion. Why has the Lakewood council established citizen advisory boards and committees if issues clearly relevant to their purview aren’t presented to them by the council for review and advice? But, all such opportunity is not yet lost; the next CTAC meeting is scheduled for September 14 at 4:30pm, and this committee does accept public testimony. Lakewood officials conducted a series of public hearings on ‘Street Ends’, and on troubling traffic issues in other parts of Lakewood, but it seems that the council did not want to accept thoughtful public input relevant to substantially increasing Tillicum residential traffic which would almost certainly be very much at odds with the private agenda of certain management staff at town hall. Even at this late juncture, I’m sure that Neary’s public explanation would be welcomed by all Lakewood residents.

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