Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 4

Come see the new Council members sworn in

If you call Gig Harbor home, you are most cordially invited to the new Gig Harbor City Council swearing-in ceremony.

It’s scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8 at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St.

Mayor Kit Kuhn will administer the oath of office to new Council members Jeni Woock, Position #1; Bob Himes, Position #2; Jim Franich, Position #3; and Spencer Abersold, Position # 7.

Your mayor and Council were elected with a huge mandate to slow growth, work on fixing gridlock traffic and to make sure the voice of our citizens are heard. We were elected to make sure all builders play by the same rules, to get rid of deviations to our code, and end development agreements downtown.

The new mayor and Council work for you, citizens of Gig Harbor. It is up to each of us to keep our campaign promises. It is up to citizens to hold us accountable for keeping those promises. Working together we can make sure our hometown stays safe, healthy and functions well for everyone.

One of my campaign promises is to hold monthly listening meetings where I listen to you, your thoughts, your concerns and your ideas. My first listening meeting is from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Harbor General Store.

You can keep up with all things Gig Harbor City Council on my Jeni Woock City Council Facebook page. I look forward to chatting with you anytime. I hope to see you soon.

Jeni Woock, Gig Harbor

Battle over trees in Canterwood

After moving into the Canterwood development 13 years ago, I heard rumblings from neighbors about heavy-handed and inconsistent rulings by the Architectural Control Committee. Its primary purposes are supposed to keep the overall subdivision well-kept and attractive, maintain streets, and care for landscaped common areas. But it really overreaches.

Canterwood bylaws state that its board of directors are responsible “ to provide for the health, safety and welfare of residents.” We and our next door neighbors learned first-hand that essentially tall trees come first here and people come second, according to Canterwood’s attorney.

The powers-to-be have allowed several parcels to be completely clear-cut so builders can build, but refuse to allow removal of three or four problematic trees that grow way too close to houses. We are treated as adversaries, not neighbors.

What proved to us and our neighbors that decision-makers here in Canterwood do not care about a homeowner’s legitimate concerns was that not a single member of the board, as they denied our appeal, bothered to contact either of us. It was a galling experience.

An attempt to secure legal support to combat Canterwood’s violation of private property rights failed; the legal foundation we contacted goes to battle for individuals entangled with public agencies, but not for those battling a homeowners association.

As time goes by and large evergreen trees grow taller, and more trees fall in Northwest wind storms, Canterwood will have to pay heed to the increasing dangers to people and property.

John Arroyo, Gig Harbor