Earlier this week, at the Commissioner's regular Wednesday work study meeting, Commissioner Josh Brown attempted to have me removed from the Kitsap County Planning Commission. Commissioner Jan Angel, who appointed me, stood her ground and refused to be intimated.
Brown made my position as a newspaperman an issue in that discussion, saying he didn't consider me a newspaperman, but a "propagandist." I can only conclude that the suggestion I be removed was politically motivated by my editorial commentary concerning Brown's election, serious lack of qualifications for the job, and his current legal troubles over the still unanswered question of his official residency.
I was approved unanimously by all three commissioners when originally appointed to the Planning Commission in 2000, and again when reappointed in 2004. My job as a newsman is simply unrelated to my duties or performance as a planning commissioner. I'd also like to point out that the last time a Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan update was actually approved by the state, I chaired the Planning Commission that brought it forward. I also chaired the joint Kitsap County-City of Port Orchard Sub-Area Planning Process as part the mandatory 10-year Comp Plan update currently under consideration by the state. Until I was "drafted" to chair that group, which completed its work in about 6 months, the process had been stalled for almost 2 years. I believe my work as a Planning Commissioner speaks for itself.
The Business Journal has been honored professionally a number of times, including a statewide award for its coverage of the GMA, and I have been personally honored with the Small Business Journalism Leadership Award for both Washington State and Region X by the U.S. Small Business Administration. I was also a finalist for the national award, and sit on the USA Today Small Business Panel as well. I make no apologies for doing my job and doing it well.
I'd also like to point out that although I am not legally bound in any way to do so, my original promise to the county commission was that as a Planning Commissioner, I would not personally author any articles or editorially comment upon any actions or ordinances in front of, under consideration, or being deliberated on, by the Planning Commission. I have adhered to that promise for the entire time I have served on the Planning Commission and defy anyone to prove otherwise.
So Josh Brown's action in spearheading the lame attempt to remove me from the Planning Commission, appears to me at least. to be nothing more than small-minded, blatant political retribution aimed at trying to either intimidate or silence a critic. I think this obvious attempt at censorship is a clue to how Josh's mind works, not to mention how his ego has over-inflated since being elected.
Hopefully, his legal troubles over the residency issue will deflate that ego enough to give him some much-needed perspective — not to mention a reality check — about how the real world actually works.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Posted by Lary Coppola at 10:04 AM