By Helen Sabin, Corvallis
I recently attended the Hamilton City Council meeting that was held at the County Fairgrounds. It was eye-opening. The mayor began the meeting with a dictatorial warning that anyone violating the rules of the meeting would be removed. You could not speak out, clap, boo, or ask questions that you wanted to be answered. All you could do is “comment.” That alone should give Hamiltonians pause. “The city council was NOT there to answer questions,” said the mayor. If not…. why not? Isn’t that why they were elected?
Listening to comments around me, it seems that many in the city are NOT happy with the mayor and council. It will be interesting to see which council members and if the mayor will be re-elected at the next election – NONE of them should be.
Two issues that caused a lot of upset and to which the citizens did NOT get answers to their many questions about them were the increases in sewer and water costs, and the approval of a development that seemed to be or is owned by the Yellowstone Corporation. The major questions dealt with whether or not there would be CCR’s in the new mega-development area and how the development would affect the neighbors. One citizen asked if Yellowstone was trying to “own the town.” One lady whispered
hat we should check the bank accounts of the council members – have they been paid off to rubber-stamp what Yellowstone wants?
It was clear that the council does NOT seem to want to listen to or respond to the citizens who elected them, nor would they engage in explaining to the citizens why there is a HUGE surplus in the budget for water and sewer. A weak reply as to “needing it for the future,” was made by the mayor. However, a CPA by the name of Hulse (?) came to the mike to shoot down the mayor’s response. He made the council and mayor look foolish and dishonest in their actions.
The question was also raised about using the money to repair the streets and the mayor again gave a weak response that money could not be transferred from one account to the other. The crowd did NOT like that answer which was totally unsatisfactory and they showed it with their response, ignoring the mayor’s “order” to be “quiet.”
The Hamilton City Council and Mayor should be replaced by the individuals who spoke at the meeting on various topics. All had questions that would not be answered by the council or mayor and that makes the city officials suspect as to why not. Those citizen speakers have the “good of Hamilton” in mind as opposed to the current council and mayor who do not seem to have the same attitude. They were not impressive as a group. The descriptive words, “ineffective and question dodgers” come to mind.