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PUYALLUP: Ethics take another hit

Letter by A. David Churchman, Puyallup on June 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm | 4 Comments »
June 10, 2011 12:10 pm

Re: “Commuter rail parking lot nears end of the line” (TNT, 6-9).

The Puyallup City Council declared war on Sound Transit’s Sounder commuters by evicting them from the vacant downtown Cornforth Campbell lot, effective Oct. 1.  Puyallup clearly does not need the revenue it receives nor deems it as a public service to support regional mass transit. The city balance sheets must therefore be healthy.

The eviction issue has been led by Councilman Rick Hansen throughout the process. The merits of the argument are debatable, but ethic –  specifically the conflict of interest law – must be maintained. Hansen owns several commercial business properties in the immediate vicinity of this parking lot. He should have removed himself from the debate, let alone lead it, but he did not.

Hansen has been a perennial critic of Mayor Kathy Turner’s personal real estate dealings involving city tax abatements. But now the shoe is on the other foot, and he has no problem championing a self-serving council action. Shame on him.

Hansen has aspirations of becoming Puyallup mayor in 2012. One of the worst kept secrets in Puyallup is a ploy to modify the term limit ordinance which currently bars him from running again in 2013.

Voters should ask their prospective council candidates running this year as to their opinion on conflict-of-interest issues for council members as well as their position on jerry-rigging the current term limit to accommodate Hansen.

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