In a smaller city such as Lakewood, residents should expect loyalty from its municipal staff, this loyalty being reflected in decisions that contribute to the best interests of residents.
Loyalty has been sadly absent in regard to a long series of actions in regards to the plan to move Camp Murray’s main gate access into the residential area of Lakewood’s Tillicum neighborhood.
The camp and city planning officials were involved in discussions for several months, unbeknownst to the Tillicum residents. Instead, their decision was presented by Camp Murray officers in two informational (done deal) meetings. Both audiences expressed complete opposition to the plan.
Subsequently the permit was denied and the city set some mitigating constraints before the next application would be approved. Camp officials agreed to these procedures, reapplied for the permit and it was granted. Tillicum residents called for a hearing, the hearing was held and the hearing examiner remanded the decision back to the city.
City staff was negligent in not showing loyalty to the Tillicum residents by denying the right-of-way permit on first application, citing the following to the camp:
• The Defense Department mandates that entry points be situated in other than residential areas for traffic and safety reasons.
• Camp traffic will be using streets that are not adequate for the additional traffic.
• The camp’s reason for moving the gate was to improve safety on its grounds, but the proposed location will jeopardize the safety of most Tillicum residents.