Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is MR-69 Code for CAO?

The specter of "personal attacks" has been raised by one planning official on at least two separate occasions. Last year, Tim Blanchard of the Common Sense Alliance was accused by Shireene Hale of a personal attack when he simply suggested, during public access time, that Shireene had been insubordinate for not following previous Council direction. Recently, at an April 5th Planning Commission meeting, Shireene again claimed she was being personally attacked when some members of the Planning Commission simply disagreed with her over some aspects of the wetlands CAO. The Chair of the Planning Commission had to point out to Shireene that no one was attacking her, just disagreeing with her.

Neither involved any denigration of Shireene. Neither was a personal attack in reality. While these examples may be two of the more memorable instances of "personal attack" accusations, they are not the only ones levied against citizens challenging the Word. Some have suggested to me that the "personal attack" language is trotted out whenever a red herring is needed to distract opponents from further legitimate criticism of the CAOs, the science supporting the CAOs, or CDPD behavior.

Regardless of the reason for the accusations, I feel it is important to remind readers of a genuine instance of a personal attack levied at all of us by our local County government. Back around 2008, the County was considering a new location for an upgraded transfer station to be located in Beaverton Valley on San Juan Island. When many people soured on the idea, some Public Works employees decided to put up the following sign at the proposed transfer station site, an area that was often used by neighboring residents for dog walking or related activities.

Before County personnel register any further indignation over the way they are treated by the public, I hope they look at this sign and remind themselves they are part of an organization that erected it (be sure to read the last line of the sign).

I wonder what would have happened to Charles if he had put up a sign like this?

(And no, this is not photoshopped.  This is an un-retouched photo of a real sign erected on Public Works' Beaverton Valley property by Public Works employees.  The photo was taken by a resident living adjacent to the property.  This photo is in the public record and has previously been included in presentations made to the Council by private citizens.)


  1. Oddly, the first instance mentioned was characterized as a "personal attack" despite the fact that the statement in question--which spoke purely to professional performance--was made about the planning staff, not an individual. Guilty conscience, I guess.

  2. For crying out loud, Ed, that picture was a practical joke (parody on the Air Force's Area 51) put up by a then-employee who got tired of having to clean up trash dumped in the area where he was working. When the Public Works director found out about it he ordered it taken down. Read the sign carefully. If you still take it seriously, seek counseling. (BTW it was next to the drainage pond and one had to be trespassing to see it.)

  3. Really? A county employee stating in writing that the use of deadly force is authorized? No. That is not a practical joke. That is a serious offence. What was the followup? Disciplinary action or chuckles over a few beers after work?

    As the chief county public affairs officer, you seem be saying that the official position of the county is advise the public to not take seriously, a sign placed on county property by a county employee, that threatens the use of lethal force, seriously. Seriously?

    As to whether or not there is an Area 52 under county control, all anyone can say is "The truth is out there."

  4. In response to a post about personal attacks, a senior County employee leaves a comment that includes a personal attack (i.e., If you still take it seriously, seek counseling).

  5. Apparently, there's no end of County personnel registering indignation over their sad lot. Here's hoping that all this blog reading and responding is not being done on the taxpayers' dime.

  6. Wait a minute there Mr. Official County Public Outreach Guy. Seek counseling? So when the County does it, it's funny; if citizens object, they need counseling? What planet are you from?

    When hypersensitive public servants whine whenever they encounter disagreement or criticism about the performance of their jobs that they are being subjected to “personal attacks,” and we reference this earlier episode in an attempt to lend some perspective, we need counseling?

    Thanks for the comment, but how can any reasonable person think it’s within your job description either to spend time reading and responding to citizen blogs or to provide medical advice.

  7. Sometimes parody is self-inflicted.

  8. And there we have it: the County motto.