July 12, 2017
Meeting was called to order at 7:30am by Vice President Matthew Rainwater. City Councilwoman, Cherie Kidd, led the flag salute.
Greg Mattson, Lee Sinnes, Mike French, Lee Whetham, Jake Oppelt, J ack O’Brien, John Alger, Justin Tognimi, Alyce Barton, Lucy Higgs, Jim Moran, etc.
Steve Deuterman, Boys and Girls Club, and Lindsey Schromen Warwin, Shearwater Law, PLLC, were welcomed as new members.
Julie Hatch invited all to the upcoming Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival on Saturday, August 5. For more information Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival.
Andrew May invited all to the upcoming 20th Annual Corn Roast on August 6 from 12pm to 12am.
City Council Position 2 candidates: Lee Whetham (incumbent) and opponents Jake Oppelt and Mike French talked about why they wanted the position and what they would work to accomplish their goals.
LEE WHETHAM said he ran on the promise of improving lives, on instituting two comment periods, on a fluoride advisory vote, Humane Society funding and reactivation of the Kids Trout Derby. He says he thinks he has accomplished all of his promises. He backs Mother-In-Law housing and low income housing. He feels that since the PUD gets its water from the city, a community buyin would remove one layer of government. His work toward apprenticeship programs show that there is a need for more math skills and things like the Skill Center should be utilized to help provide job training. He feels job training should lead to a career. Lincoln Park trees should be cut to bring back the air service. Mental illness, homelessness and the opioid problem are all related and the Council needs to listen to the community. Citizens might not like what is going on but they also have to remember the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Public nuisance laws might be needed. He backs the Transportation Benefit District tax since it would provide the matching funds needed for grant money to fix roads and alleys. Lee said his work on Civic Field, City Pier and Downtown Improvement Project are other examples of his successful work on the council.
JAKE OPPELT, a long time resident and active business owner, said Port Angeles is at a turning point. He feels his energy, passion, and positive assets will bring freshness to the Council. His attendance at Council meetings has helped him become familiar with issues. He will listen to the will of the voter on the fluoride issue. Tourism is one of the biggest ways to help business and residents beautify their buildings. Jake seeks service wagers, jobs and growth from the Seattle area. Zoning, multi-family residences and the mill will help make Port Angeles a desirable place to live. The Skill Center did not meet its potential but he is willing to work with the schools and private sector to help provide job training. Lincoln Park is no longer a safe place to walk and cutting the trees will help with safety and bring back an airline. He feels the hospital and the recruiting industry will furnish passengers. Employment will help kids as well as will outdoor activities, United Way support and Boys and Girls activities and thus cut down on opioid use and property crime. He feels junk cars, “mobile drug stores”, should be impounded sooner so that owners don’t just move “down the street”. Jake supports the Transportation Benefit Improvement Tax and that would help fix streets and alleys. He says he has energy, new ideas, and is a forward thinker who has invested much in this community and looks to Youth as the future.
MIKE FRENCH, raised in Port Angeles and a business owner, First Street Haven, feels not listening to citizens has been part of the Council’s problems and that has helped lead to the Second City ballot measure. He praised local city staff for all their work on the budget, streets, homelessness and opioid problem. He feels his calm temperament, nerdiness, and love of debate will aid in letting the public have a say in issues. He has attended Council meetings for many years and sees where Science is an open process and people need to be heard. He believes the EDC can be a help in getting the mill started again and getting the Elwha treatment problem settled. He feels growth in the city is more likely to occur on the West end first. Work force training, whether at the Skill Center or in the schools might help, as will getting the business sector to speak up. Mike feels the ball fields at Lincoln Park are important, but he supports the cutting of trees for the airport. He said there are also tall trees on private properties near the airport that need to be examined. Money needs to be spent on those at risk and those needing treatment. Drug counselors at the schools might help. He feels the Transportation Tax would mean that streets such as 10th and 8th could be fixed with the aid of tourists spending. “The Future is Bright.”
Meeting adjourned at 8:40am after passage earlier of a motion to extend the meeting 15 minutes.