By Ken Estes
I don’t know of a candidate or elected mayor who has ever wanted to tear down our city including Doug Iverson or myself. I agree tearing down is the easy path. What Vini and I don’t agree on is who is doing the tearing down.
In response to her rhetoric, TV trucks in Montesano were a result of her friend, the creator of Monte Watchdog, who called them often and he is no longer around.
She claims we have been misinforming the public concerning the roundabout and the rest area. Doug and I have only repeated what the mayor or members of the council provided. When we went to council meetings both Doug, I and others gave several suggestions for the property that appear to have been rejected. Once again, the mayor and I don’t agree on this issue either.
Vini is correct in the “only challenger running a real campaign” being Barry Iverson. However, her outburst on him is because he is Doug’s son. Never have I seen a Mayor endorse any city candidate, editorially, in any race until now. Barry has a vision for Montesano and it does not include Montesano becoming a cookie cutter version of some other city. He is not in favor of a roundabout or making Montesano the toilet stop of Grays Harbor. Positive does not mean being in lockstep with the mayor's campaign promises.
Wi-Fi was discussed in my administration. We found that it is becoming obsolete and we read recently that it is now vulnerable to the virus KRACK. (https://tinyurl.com/y9gvuhzm)
Beacon Park has been a work in progress for the past 8 years. During my administration, we applied for a state grant to rebuild East Pioneer in 2014 and it was approved for the 2016-17 budget. I was one of the first to endorse a volunteer privately funded pavilion project at Lake Sylvia. Ball fields were worked on and repaired within our $500 budget. Our attorney advised against the Farmers Market due to the liability from sales of unclean raw food. We were the first city in GH to have a share-the-road with bicycles. We were having talks with a business to have an electric vehicle charging station. All of these things were on-going when I left the mayor’s office. Since I left. I have been told that a hotel was being considered, but now off the table because of the “anti-business attitude” of the city.
Now about the budget. Every mayor comes in with problems and when Vini goes she will leave problems—but real mayors do not complain, they take what they were dealt and try to fix it.
A roundabout is not needed and with only two accidents in 10 years, there is not a problem. The state DOT had no plans to do anything at that intersection and is on record they do not want any more rest areas due to cost. $550,000 of public tax dollars are now appropriated to “do something” at that intersection. This project is a waste of taxpayer dollars and has nothing to do with rhetorical bombs or spreading misinformation on our part. Misinformation is in the mind of the beholder. The area is so small only an 80 ft. a roundabout could be built. A larger one would take wetlands or private property. If it is a safety issue, it could be helped with a signal light and some line stripping. We turned in nearly 300 signatures of people that were against both projects. We offered suggestions to make the area more attractive. These were ignored also.
Please attend on October 30th, 7 pm, upstairs at City Hall for a meeting, Please come! This presentation should include immediate business impacts, particularly for Monte Square businesses. The city should release their Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for both projects. It should also include long-term projections on business impacts, maintenance costs – and how that will affect local taxes; impacts on law enforcement, emergency service, and other infrastructure budgets. I hope the city will provide a clear and easy to understand explanation of how this will benefit the city and not just a few people, with plenty of quality time for questions and answers.