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PUYALLUP: Another lame duck junket

Letter by A. David Churchman, Puyallup on March 8, 2012 at 10:48 am with 1 Comment »
March 8, 2012 10:48 am

Puyallup Mayor Rick Hansen is heading off on a five-day all-expenses-paid junket to Maryland this summer to attend an emergency management conference. It’s unclear whether the cost of the trip will be covered by the federal government or by local taxpayers. I suspect the latter. Either way, it comes out of the public’s hide.

Isn’t this the same Hansen, who along with Deputy Mayor John Knutsen, used to chastise the previous mayor for her boondoggles paid for by the Association of Washington Cities?

Even more disturbing is that Hansen is “term limited out” next year and will no longer be either mayor or a council member. So why is he attending this safety conference ? It’s certainly not as a contributing subject matter expert.

How is this for a radical thought? Send a public safety employee who will still be in a position of responsibility beyond 2013. The city would be better served by a better-informed police captain or sergeant rather than its current lame duck mayor. The taxpayers may prefer that, too.

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  1. fatecreatr says:

    Thank you so much for voicing your unfounded suspicions with no actual details or facts.

    Pierce County invited Mayor Hansen along with others from many jurisdictions to a full scheduled safety conference so all the local leaders can coordinate during emergencies. Mayor Hansen was selected for this responsibility along with Councilman Vermilion and this is not really a voluntary event. (The funding sources are far from clear without more research as Pierce County may be using designated federal moneys.)

    And what is the alternative? Perhaps Puyallup should endeavor to turn down these periodic emergency preparedness events so that we’re the only city in the region who’s leaders have little idea what to do and who to coordinate with in a crisis.

    I’d glad you’re so confident that there will be no major disaster between now and the time he is out of office. We can all sleep easy knowing that your suspicions and paranoia have fended off the next major earthquake or lahar.

    You might counter by saying we should have sent someone who will be in office for a longer period of time. Perhaps, but since the mayor is the primary person designated with the coordination of emergency efforts during a crisis for Puyallup, there is no better choice for this training.

    I know you to be a bright and thorough individual, but here you have offered only venom and spite with no alternative plans or ideas. This is not productive or helpful.

    P.S. AWC seems to teach how to create disasters rather than to survive them, this is hardly a fair comparison.

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