One of the more humorous letters to the editor was penned by Stephen Adams, a Pratt Campaign Committee member and former school teacher. Adams, who is also on the Planning Commission and is an elected Lopez Port Commissioner, endorsed Pratt by saying that she is "physically responsible." We think the ex-teacher meant "fiscally responsible." Adams also misspells Pratt's first name.
No, we don't think Lovel(l) Pratt is fiscally responsible. Pratt voted to increase County debt by about $2 million during her tenure ($3 million of a recent $5-million bond issue was debt refinancing and $2 million was new debt). While Pratt was a Council woman, County budgets and expenditures grew to near all-time highs, despite shrinking headcount (and despite a $1.6 billion decline in homeowner equity). Moreover, if you watch old Council videos, you will often see Pratt suggest spending proposals that are so unpopular with her co-Council members that they never even make it as far as a vote.
Stephen Adams also alleges that Pratt's support of the Lopez solid waste solution was "critical." We're not sure why she is deserving of such praise. Pratt was a staunch supporter of the County-wide solid waste tax that went down to scorching defeat 2011. At best, she was a latecomer to "local solutions" for solid waste.
Another Pratt endorsement letter says,
I have seen her repeatedly act on the Quaker values of peace, equality, simplicity, community, and integrity. Lovel listens deeply and with respect for all viewpoints as she seeks actions that will serve everyone justly.I'm sorry, but there is just too much evidence to the contrary for this statement to carry any credibility.
Peace? ... have you heard of Pratt's numerous unwelcome berating nighttime phone tirades to citizens who disagree with her?
Equality? ... I suppose that's why Pratt dismissed one constituent's concerns about the CAOs by saying, "In the future, I urge you to get involved sooner than later when the council is addressing an issue that is important to you."
Simplicity? ... have you read the CAOs?
Community? ... is that a euphemism for a Byers-like view of common property? Here is what Pratt told one constituent.
You express concerns about taking away property owners’ hard earned freedoms. I assume that you are talking about property owners’ rights to develop their property as they see fit. However the same can [be] said about a property owner’s neighbor’s rights and hard earned freedoms. ... Here, too, we need strong and effective regulations to protect and preserve the quality of life in the islands. This is another example of regulations being about balance – balancing a property owner’s rights with the rights of their neighbors.
Integrity? ... what about the litigation underway involving Pratt and secret CAO meetings.
Listens deeply and with respect? ... I suppose that's why Pratt told one constituent, "The council is embarked on and committed to this CAO update process - unless you can convince four of us to change course. You might want to try working on other councilmembers if that is your goal."
I also want to remind readers of Pratt's persecution of a small business owner who allegedly was using his barn for a non-agricultural business purpose (Pratt thought it might constitute a violation of the agricultural zoning of the parcel). The Trojan Heron detailed this story in an earlier post. As a postscript, here is the accused businessman's side of the story.
After I found out who filed this complaint, I actually called Lovel and asked why she did not contact me personally before contacting the building department. After all, when [my wife] and I lived on Honey Lane off Jensen Bay Road, Lovel was basically our neighbor. We saw she and her family often during the 7 year period we lived there. I told her I was extremely disappointed that she didn’t just pick up the phone, and I could have told her I had no intention to house staff in my home and prefer much more separation from my staff. I also told her I was the only kayak company that had two commercial facilities; one at Friday Harbor and one at RocheHarbor where I pay commercial fees in excess of $60,000.00/year. I was very angry with her, but I didn’t lose my top. I also told her that my family intended to start a family farm, and thanked her for the warm welcome into the agricultural community.So much for "serving everyone justly."