LETTER | so much for transparency in government

Maybe it just me……


I’m all for this transparency in government thing – great idea.  But I shake my head in amazement at how it’s sometimes executed.


Now I know that Kirkland City Council and Sound Transit mean well.  They are attempting to deal with the tremendous backlash of citizens against transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor.  It belongs on 405 by the way, and ST’s own numbers actually support this finding!


Back to shaking my head in amazement……so the City is getting details back from the $250,000 marketing study to support their point of view.  They want to roll this out like a shiny new car (or maybe even super high tech, non-polluting, electric bus) to the public.  So they schedule a meeting on January 11th at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.  Nothing wrong with that….it’s part of their “public outreach”.  Here’s where this all gets a little fishy.  I imagine back to back presentations were scheduled, as if it’s anything like the last “public outreach” meeting, there will be overflow crowds.  If you look closely however, the presentations are in room W404, but if you have questions or heaven forbid want to debate the findings, you’ll need to get up and move oneself to Room W401 where, according to the city’s press release “Sound Transit & City staff will be available throughout the event to answer questions”.  If this isn’t stifling public comment and discussion, I don’t know what is.  I guess the city and ST bristle at the idea that the citizens of Kirkland may want to share opinions with one another, within a group setting, and frankly be able to hear responses from our elected and appointed representatives.  Isn’t this what a community meeting is all about?  Rather, it appears that all opinions need to be taken “offline” and outside of a group setting. 


I would hope that the City and Sound Transit will reconsider the idea and concept behind this supposed “community meeting” and provide the citizens (and voters) of Kirkland the opportunity for open public discussion of this very serious issue being placed (or pushed) upon us. 


Thank you….


Gary Greenberg