Re: “Port of Tacoma, business groups sue to stop ballot measures on water,” (TNT, 6/7).
The lawsuit filed against citizens for pursuing initiatives to protect our water supply seems to be an immature game of payback since citizens wholeheartedly engaged in the recent methanol refinery SEPA process. Citizens flocked to scoping meetings. They spoke passionately and intelligently at City Council and Port Commission meetings. They wrote letters to newspapers. They engaged in the prescribed process.
Now they are being sued for participating in a legal initiative campaign. The lawsuit may be strategic, but it is a new low, even for Tacoma’s “leaders.” Elected officials including Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Port Commission President Connie Bacon, along with supposed business leaders – i.e., the corporate class – such as the Economic Development Board CEO Bruce Kendall, are attempting to bully citizens into silence and compliance. It is wrong and undemocratic.
Revisionist history be damned: It wasn’t average citizens who canceled the EIS process. It was the company proposing the refinery. Shame on the Port of Tacoma. Shame on the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. Shame on the Economic Development Board. And shame on the City of Tacoma. Their lack of communication, lack of transparency and lack of vision hurt this city more than any initiative ever could.