Senate Committee hears testimony regarding controversial bill targeted at eliminating the Houghton Community Council
Testimony regarding the controversial House Bill 1812 was heard today by the State Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Election Committee. Several concerned citizens and community council members testified in opposition to the bill. Representative Steve Kirby (Tacoma) co-sponsored HB 1812. He introduced the bill to the committee saying, "I've been approached by some local government officials... and asked me to run this bill..."
Following Rep. Kirby's testimony in favor of HB 1812, Committee member Maralyn Chase questioned Kirby.
CHASE: "Mr. Kirby… have you discussed this with any of the two existing community councils and found out what their views are on this?"
KIRBY: "No I haven't... just some city council and mainly the city officials are whom I talked to." When Committee member Chase asked if Kirby had spoken with officials from Bellevue or Kirkland, Kirby replied, "Kirkland in particular is where I've been..."
Rep. Kirby did not say who he spoke with in the City of Kirkland. It is unknown which Kirkland City Council members and which Kirkland City Officials had conversations with Kirby. To date, no Kirkland City Council members or Kirkland City Officials have publicly acknowledged involvement with HB 1812. If people at Kirkland City Hall had been involved with HB 1812 prior to the March 1, 2011 Kirkland City Council meeting, several important questions will need to be answered as to why the Houghton Community Council was not notified. The Kirkland City Council has yet to take a position on the matter.
A call to Rep. Kirby's office has yet to be returned.
[box type="alert"] Representative Larry Springer has penned this letter to Kirkland Views in which he states: "I attended the Senate hearing on the bill yesterday and need to clear up a very important point. When Rep. Kirby indicated he had talked about the bill with Kirkland officials, he was referring to me. He has never had a conversation with any Kirkland City Councilmember."[/box]
In a telephone conversation with Kirkland Views following the Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Election hearing, Senate committee member, Maralyn Chase said, "How can you claim it's good public policy if the two major organizations affected by this were not contacted? This is certainly not transparent government." After emphasizing the importance of transparency and openness in government, Chase continued, "If I were a betting person, I would not bet on this getting out of the Senate committee."
Watch video of Kirby's testimony in favor of HB 1812:
Watch video of testimony against HB 1812: