Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, Aug. 5

Harbaugh is what the Peninsula School Board needs for member

The Peninsula School Board needs Leslie Harbaugh. Harbaugh has a deep understanding of education issues and straightforward common sense. An experienced public education advocate, she’s knowledgeable about the strengths and the weaknesses of Peninsula Schools and has a history of working tirelessly to enact positive change.

A founding Board member of Harbor WildWatch, Harbaugh helped create a school partnership to enhance science instruction. Today, Harbor WildWatch visits more than 500 PSD classrooms yearly, igniting students’ excitement and concern for the marine life around them.

As PTA Co-President of Artondale, Harbaugh oversaw an annual budget of approximately $50,000 and pursued collaborations with businesses and organizations to bring in additional funding for vital needs. In her role she partnered successfully with staff, parents, administrators and community members.

On the PSD Parent District Council, she has been unafraid to challenge the district and has helped contribute to generating new programs and resources including, new Highly Capable programs at KPMS and Kopachuck, Middle School course catalog, PSAT testing of all Sophomores, Summer Satellite Academy and stronger STEM programs in secondary schools.

I want a board member who knows what they’re doing and can clearly articulate their vision for the future. That’s Leslie Harbaugh.

Lisa Anderson

Gig Harbor

Iverson should stop throwing stones at Gibbs

I am writing about the recent appointment of Jerry Gibbs to the Peninsula School Board. He was chosen over Todd Iverson, who is a Peninsula Metropolitan Parks Commissioner. As I read posts on Facebook, Mr. Iverson is already making disparaging comments about Mr. Gibbs, which is encouraging others to judge Mr. Gibbs.

Mr. Gibbs has lead the charge for better government but Mr. Iverson makes him out to be a bullying buffoon. Mr. Gibbs is one vote on one ballot but yet Mr. Iverson blames him for the downfall of the current school bonds and levies. As if Mr. Gibbs had control over the voters. I did some research, (and) Mr. Iverson also lost out to Nathan Schlicher to fill Derek Kilmer’s State Senate seat, and he lost in the 2010 primary election for Pierce County Council. Mr. Iverson is also a candidate for the Pierce County Charter Commission but he pales in comparison to Commissioner candidate Katie Baird.

Reading Mr. Iverson’s past campaign materials, he is a liberal Democrat labor union representative, which is maybe why he should stick to non-partisan races in Gig Harbor and stop throwing stones.

Robert Johnson

Raft Island

Duty of fire inspectors to keep community safe, not make life convenient for businesses

I am having some difficulty with Mr. Moist’s letter about fire inspections (Gateway, July 29). It is the main job of government to provide for the public safety of all its citizens. Now, while he may have spent a lot of money with private fire inspectors, they are on the receiving end of a checkbook and, therefore, their duty is not to protect anyone but the man who writes the check.

The reality is that unannounced inspections are actually the DUTY of responsible government. Being able to prepare, move things around, or dispose of articles or chemicals that are not allowed is easily done when an appointment time is provided. It is not the job of the fire inspector to make life convenient for the business owner. It is his sworn duty to keep the community safe.

I suggest to Mr. Moist that his attitude toward these dedicated public servants is as questionable as his need for prior notification of an inspection.

Margot LeRoy

Gig Harbor

Fire inspections are common sense to protect lives, property

Many Gig Harbor citizens are shocked to learn fire inspections in Gig Harbor are not mandatory. A fire prevention program with mandatory inspections and enforcement is the most effective method of keeping lives and property safe.

The Gig Harbor fire marshall agrees that even voluntary fire inspections promote the general welfare and public safety. Neither Mr. Stearns, nor my opponent have allowed voluntary fire inspections in all their various commercial buildings. Gig Harbor has NO mandatory compliance. When fire inspections and compliance are enforced, fires can be avoided and lives are saved.

The objective of Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One is to train, preplan, prepare and inspect. “If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.” Firefighters, police, your family, your neighbors, pets and wildlife are precious lives that deserve protection. It is only common sense to make sure lives and property are protected. During times of drought, safety first may help us save water.

Communities in Washington state are inspected and assigned a fire protection rating by the Washington Rating and Service Bureau. The better the rating a city has, the lower the cost of fire insurance to the city and businesses. If a better fire rating can save money perhaps property taxes won’t increase quite so fast. Perhaps we can hold a lid on utility rate hikes.

Chances are a better fire rating for our city will also mean lower fire insurance rates for our small business owners.

The residential property taxes of Gig Harbor citizens help support our fire and police departments. Mr. Moist and his employer, Mr. Stearns, do not live in the city. It would seem they care diddly-squat about Gig Harbor residential property taxes.

Jeni Woock

Gig Harbor


The Peninsula Gateway accepts guest columns up to 600 words and letters to the editor up to 250 words. Priority consideration is given to those who live on the Gig Harbor or Key peninsulas. Letters and columns should be submitted by 5 p.m. on the Friday prior to the next publication. The Peninsula Gateway reserves the right to edit for space, style and potentially libelous material. To submit a letter or column, email (preferred), or mail it to: Letters to the Editor, 3226 Rosedale St., Gig Harbor, WA 98335.