Woes of the City of Pacific | Guest op

By Gary Hulsey
For the Auburn Reporter

I have been reticent too long.

The problems the City of Pacific is facing are the results of the actions and omissions of one individual. A would-be tyrant who has no respect for city ordinances or state and federal laws. An individual who procrastinates and intimidates. His antics, stalls and bullying have caused department heads and other key employees who were not fired by this individual to leave because of hostile working conditions.

This same individual touts the cleansing of corruption, but has yet to identify any corruption within the City. The claims that have been filed against our City are the result of this individual's actions and omissions, and that is why our insurance carrier is canceling our City's coverage.

This individual is incapable of accepting responsibility for his actions and tries to blame the City Council, the city attorney, the committee for his recall and anyone he sees as an impediment to his tyranny. This individual has introduced problems and cronyism to our City at an unprecedented level.

There is a glimmer of hope, however. City Council members have been working on alternative solutions to the insurance dilemma. We have contacted other carriers and there exists the possibility that we, as a City, may be able to secure insurance from a different provider. It will be expensive though, but will, if we are successful, provide coverage so that we can remain a viable city.

There is another possibility that has yet to be considered. So far the options considered to the lack of insurance coverage have been: A, disincorporation of the City; and B, annexation to the City of Auburn. In my opinion, neither is acceptable.

Property taxes will go up. Services to our citizens, such as water quality and police protection, will decline, if not be altogether nonexistent. Crime will increase and our property values will decrease.

In the event that we cannot secure insurance coverage, we should consider the possibility of a change in form of government, which would require a vote by the citizens. This change would be from a mayor/City Council form of government to a City Council/City manager form of government. The City Council would then hire a City manager who would manage Pacific and be accountable to the City Council, which would set City policy and approve the budget very much as it does now. The mayor would not be elected as there would no longer this position.

As our current insurance provider has stated, they will cancel our coverage unless the mayor resigns or is otherwise out of office. This would accomplish that end. If we must send a ballot to the voters, this needs to be an option.

I pray that our city can soon return to some sense of sanity.

Reach Pacific City Councilmember Gary Hulsey at 253-929-1100 or ghulsey@ci.pacific.wa.us.

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