LETTER: ‘Shame on my city for trying to minimize and make light of problems’


[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff:]

http://www.ci.seatac.wa.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11191

As a councilmember, I had already received several contacts from citizens about the above city initiated Survey Monkey before I ever knew anything about it.

I checked my city email. I rechecked my last council packet. I checked my voicemail. Nothing from City Hall for me on this exciting new subject. I received a Google alert in my email on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 7:38 PM to notify me of this city step. Period.

In the last year plus, there has been an awakening of longtime citizens and taxpayers who do not feel they are getting what they are paying for from the city regarding protection from illegal/unsafe parking in neighborhoods, higher crime and increased lack of code compliance in established neighborhoods. These citizens have organized and are speaking up at city hall. They are doing their job, and doing it well, I think.

Not being kept in the information loop and briefed by city hall on such exciting new ‘renaming’ of projects makes it hard for me to talk with my constituents when they contact me.

So as a result of not being in the information loop, I don’t see what is ‘new’ about the code compliance program as, to my knowledge, it has always been a multi-disciplinary, across the board approach in the city.

Since incorporation, it has been called Code Enforcement; now Code Compliance; and soon it will be called something ‘shiny.’ Different names, same results. Lipstick on a pig? (Sorry piggies.)

If there is a new ‘program’ let’s see it BEFORE we re-name it – again!

Folks, you live in this city, you pay taxes. So do I and I know what I see, hear and feel in this city every day. I know how that unintended dirty needle stick felt while I performed volunteer park clean up (for the 8th year in a row.). I also know what it’s like to have Burien police thank me for trying to get NSTP cleaned up and yes including removing the people who had tents set up with all kinds of stolen items on the scene. I know because I saw it – the 4 foot high pile of wire, the parted out bicycles, the wagons full of tools – with my own eyes.

At the recent Town Hall meeting, my last comment was that the city of SeaTac needs to obey their own codes and clean up any property the city owns as well as any property we are stewards of.

And then, this is what I learn about through a Google alert? Hey boys and girls, let’s change the name of Code Enforcement –again – to something happy like SeaTac Shines, Brighter SeaTac or SeaTac Soars? What is this Sesame Street?

No – it is not Sesame Street. This is a city of 27K, with a crime rate that is 7th highest in the state (read a report here), and as a taxpayer I am concerned that instead of effectively enforcing current code and/or presenting and publishing objective solutions for our overburdened taxpayers the city ‘renames’ an important, citizen, health and safety centric program in an attempt to make citizens feel guilty for complaining about their declining property values. That’s what I see from my taxpayer knothole.

I quote one of our staunch citizen advocates (who recently passed away) from the last safety meeting she attended, “we don’t want lip service, we want action.” I am in total agreement with Ms. Albertson.

I don’t do fairytales…and shame on my city for trying to minimize and make light of problems that taxpayers consider quality of life issues with a ‘renaming’ campaign. Seriously, City Hall, do the work and stop playing games with people’s lives and taxes. Enforce the code we have now. Code Compliance is not rocket science. It is done in every city across the country on a daily basis. If the city of SeaTac cannot figure out how to do it, then the city needs to contract it out to a company who does.

Code Enforcement is one of the issues which caused me to run for city council in 2009. If you are interested, call me and I’ll tell you what previous city manager Craig Ward said to me and my community group when we pushed for the city to follow its own codes…

Ok, here are the Survey Monkey happy choices: SeaTac Shines. Brighter SeaTac. SeaTac Soars.

I’m sure one of those names will make it easier for you to pay your 6.5% utility tax while you watch the squatters trashing the foreclosed homes all across town, and Mr. Benson’s killer remains on the loose.

– Pam Fernald
SeaTac

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Comments

15 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Shame on my city for trying to minimize and make light of problems’”
  1. Kathie Brave says:

    Good letter Pam. And, wow, I have no words for this. It changes nothing but the name. Doesn’t even make sense. It’s about time the city started listening to us rather than the cithy telling us what they are going to do to us. I think people are finally waking up and I sincerely hope the next election gets through to them. And, by the way, why would people running for SeaTac council have signs in Tukwila?

  2. Darla says:

    Are you kidding me> SeaTac Shines / Brighter SeaTac / SeaTac Soars- these are really being considered for Code Enforcement? Why do you have to “pretty up” Code Enforcement?? How ridiculous.

    What a time waster for City Council, especially when SeaTac clearly needs to address bigger issues.

    And to so clearly disregard you as a Council Member from within your own City. Terrible! I hope the City of SeaTac votes LOUD AND CLEAR at this Election! Vote them OUT!

    Keep up the good work Pam! SeaTac is lucky to have you!

  3. Judy says:

    In reading about the possible name changes for code enforcement, my thought was:
    They do NOT want citizens to know that such a department exists in our city.
    A silly name means nothing and gives no indication of what is provided. I have neighbors who have been trying to contact the current code enforcement to no avail.
    With a FAKE name, the department will probably never have to answer their phone – making them even LESS accessible.
    Please continue to keep the Council on their toes, Pam!

  4. Mike Condon says:

    I support those bringing these issues to light, those who fight for our rights. But our rights mean little without knowledge. It is crucial that we become informed, I do not trust the outside interest, that paid over $100,000.00 to get Barry, Mia and Dave elected.They are self serving and not caring about SeaTac as a whole.We need a council that is dedicated to making SeaTac the city it can become. Become informed do not trust the people that will be out door belling for these people, when they have no interest in the community and do not even live here, ask them where they live or own a business in SeaTac and if they can not answer that question, what is there real interest in our community??? Just become a informed voter and realize there are new candidates that really care about the city!!!

  5. Chuck D'Arielli says:

    If code enforcement code compliance or whatever they want to call it would do their job SeaTac would shine soar and be brighter When you do your job people will tell you your doing a good job you won’t have to try to show it behind some stupid slogan

  6. Natalie says:

    I’m sorry Pam for the way you are treated by the other council members It just tells me you are on the right track to bring us back to the city we want it to be and once was, Do they think we are so stupid that we don’t know what they are doing. Who is going to take them serious being the sunshine club that is not going to clean up our neighborhood. Thanks Pam for being there for us. Let’s hope at election time the people of SeaTac remember the load of crap they have been trying to push on us and vote in the candidates that live and care about SeaTac.

  7. Donna Thomas says:

    Isn’t a name change used when involved in fraudulent activity – an alias so to speak?
    So why does the code enforcement department need an alias ?……possibly as a
    way to get out of doing the job of enforcing this city’s codes. A pretty new name would
    be a nice cover-up ‘ Oh doesn’t SeaTac Shine – so pretty that we won’t have to go out
    any more to check the city’s scruffy corners for compliance. Are we decorating a
    kindergarten room or doing business as a city? I agree with Chuck – the city would soar if the employees (of whom most do not live here) would comply with their job descriptions. An alias, as any stupid slogan is, is just something to hide behind. The public, who visits or passes through SeaTac have already named it for us, and trust me, it has nothing to do with how this city shines or soars.

  8. Inside Outsider says:

    SeaTac Shines? SeaTac Soars? Brighter SeaTac? Huh? People actually get paid to come up with this garbage? Spend your time on actual compliance and enforcement, call it what it is and quit playing games with the citizens.

  9. Earl Gipson says:

    So this is what we get for paying $3K more a year for a Code Enforcement Coordinator versus a Code Enforcement Officer. A slogan? See SeaTac salaries at:

    http://www.cityofseatac.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9445

    This should be called the SeaTac Work Avoidance Program or how about, Your Tax Dollars in the Toilet Initiative? Better yet; How Not to Get Re-Elected For Dummies.

    • Seataconian says:

      I’m finding all this very interesting. I was at home some weeks ago on a weekend, and noticed three people standing in my back yard. I went out to ask if I could help them, and they said they were from SeaTac Code Enforcement and had some complaints about the house behind me. (I’d complained about it years ago and never got any response.)

      I think one code I’d like to see enforced is trespassing. Maybe they should’ve first come to my door?

  10. NLJ says:

    How about “SeaTac Sucks”? The gag factor in the new name for SeaTac is high…

  11. V Larry says:

    I voted for SeaTac Shiners because I thought it was really a joke.
    We really need to get new members on the City Council. I don’t think SeaTac sucks but the city council does. I’ll still support Pam Fernald.

  12. Leona says:

    Great letter Pam! I totally support your premise! I am also appalled that you are being kept out of the information loop!

    Code enforcement is critical to the well being of our community. Why is the council shirking it’s duty?

    Thanks for your diligence Pam; keep up the great work.

  13. Natansee says:

    What an outstanding letter Pam. It is outrageous what these people are doing on the counsel . I hope we can all come together to vote them out!

    I want you to know that you are the best of the best for representing us. You are always letting us know what is going on. Otherwise we would never know. The SeaTac City Hall is so dysfunctional on so many levels and deceitful. They treat you the way they do, because you catch them in the act and let us know. I have lived in my home in SeaTac for 48 yrs. and I have never seen it this bad. What a shame. I have come to believe that these surveys and meetings are just an appeasement to let us” think” we have input and then do what they have chosen to do all along.

    I am so grateful for you and so appreciate you !!!!
    I want you to know that we really need you and trust you. I can only imagine what a total disaster SeaTac would be without you! You have been the only one that I can remember, that has ever kept us in the loop and truly represent the home owners.
    Thank you so very much!

  14. Melissa says:

    It’s an election year..obviously. Coming up with Town Hall meetings, surveys to act like they care what we think and now a new ridiculous name for a program that already is dysfuntional and a name change won’t fix any sort of code enforcement or compliance or whatever. Even code compliance is a joke, city hall doesn’t “comply” with their own rules, let alone enforce any! This is really a slap in the face to citizens…who are they kidding and who is falling for this?? Not I!!!