Letters: Soapbox Town Hall supported

Editor’s note: The following is an edited (for length) letter in response to the Cathey Peterson letter in the March 16 edition of the North Coast News. The sentences in italics are from the original letter:

Soapbox Town Hall

“Get off your soapbox.” Be pro-active in Ocean Shores, your community.

Mrs. Peterson should read the whole flyer. It states “Bring your questions, ideas, and suggestions” and “come with solutions”. Maybe the public’s vision of the city is different from hers, a planning commissioner or her husband’s, a council member.

To begin with, there are several City boards and committees with multiple vacancies. Join one.

Many working and disabled people can’t attend 2 p.m. meetings. This is on a Sunday. The Mayor appoints people in lockstep with those in power to these boards and commissions.

There are four City Council positions up for election this year. Run.

Many can’t take on holding office because of health, work and other reasons.

Schools and kids your thing? Volunteer.

This Town Hall allows people to volunteer their thoughts, visions and needs. Many work 9 to 5 and can’t volunteer at the schools. Additionally, the NBSD is not part of the City.

You think the Convention Center is useless? Show up for the events.

The Convention Center is its own set of issues. The Mayor is the Director. Many locals do show up for the events. The admissions now being charged is a barrier to attendance for some. You can’t attend canceled events. You need to have an interest in the event.

How does the Port spend our money? Go to a Port Commission meeting.

Our Port Commissioner states repeatedly that without ownership they have no interest in Ocean Shores. Moreover, their cost/benefit study of the QIN Marina and specifically the regular dredging costs, makes it a poor investment. They need to fill Westport’s docks before they come here to fill ours. The Port is not part of the City.

Animal lover? PAWS is right down the road.

Great. Did she forget the Ocean Shores Animal Facility? That is right here in town.

Service clubs? We got ‘em. Kiwanis, Lions and Elks will gladly put you and your skills to work.

Too bad those are private invitation only organizations. Ocean Shores Block Watch and Disaster Preparedness (OSBWDP), the sponsor and organizer of this event, is free and open to everyone of its 747 members. No membership dues or initiation required! OSBWDP has already had three Town Halls. One on Public Safety and Disaster Preparedness (130 attendees). A second one on the 3/10ths of 1% Public Safety Sales Tax (63 attendees). The third was a USDA/Habitat for Humanity/Rebuild Together Grays Harbor Town Hall to allow the 100 attendees to learn about help repairing their homes, building a home, or moving from renter to homeowner as a Senior or Low Income individual.

There are multiple non-profits around earning money to help the library, our parks and waterways. Put your experiences and knowledge to the task of helping these organizations.

What makes only those non-profits important? OSBWDP is neighbor helping neighbor to deal with issues.

Not a joiner? Not a problem, buy locally, support local service businesses, weed your disabled neighbors garden, take a garbage bag on that daily walk and pick up beach trash that’s been washed in.

We all already buy local. As to weeding a disabled person’s garden, when will Mrs. Peterson be over to weed mine? Heck, I even have another community member using my greenhouse to grow his vegetables. As to trash, Mrs. Peterson forgot to listen to the second event announced sponsored by OSBWDP. It is a CITYWIDE ROADSIDE TRASH CLEAN-UP on May 6th and 7th.

Have a concern but uncomfortable speaking in public? Email our Mayor, Council Members with your concerns and thoughts. Better yet make an appointment and talk face to face.

Very funny! Most e-mails are ignored or curtly replied with a “thank you.” In fact, one Council member publicly stated he does not read e-mails. I have had better response from County Commissioner Vickie Raines, State Rep. Chapman and State Sen. Van De Wege, and Congressman Kilmer and Senators Murray and Cantwell. In fact, last month I attended a “coffee” meeting of 21 people with Senator Patty Murray accompanied by Susan Conniry, Bill and Shannon Vandenbush.

We have amazing people in our community who make real contributions to Ocean Shores. So, I say Get off the Soapbox and show up!

Finally, Mrs. Peterson has gotten something right! Yes, there are amazing people in our community and like the Town Hall attendees, they are making real contributions to Ocean Shores. They are giving their time to learn how to help each other make their neighborhood safe, help in a disaster, become safer in their homes, take those foreclosed and abandoned homes as homeowners, become involved in taxing issues and speak out about all the topic areas suggested for the Soapbox Town Hall to “Together make our city better!”

Randy Peck,

Ocean Shores

Block Watch