Observations from February 7 Workshop

Below are observations from the City Council’s six hour workshop on Monday, February 7. 

* The main topics were Council Role & Responsibilities, City Manager Role & Expectations and Vision for Puyallup. 

* The council almost failed to talk about the rules relating to citizen comments at meetings until someone asked if they were going to talk about it. There was some hesitation, but then they began the conversation. It appeared, Kathy Turner, Nicole Martineau and Tami Brouillet were trying to establish rules as to what and how citizens could speak. They appeared to have an “anti-citizen bias” and a disdain for open government based on their comments. Hansen, Boyle, Malloy and Knutsen behaved in a more civil manner and refrained from whining. They were more in favor of free speech, with Malloy being the more dramatically vocal. Kathy Turner cherry picked comments by Tim Ford (Ombudsman to the AG’s office) by reading from an e-mail a citizen sent her and representing it as the actual letter from Mr. Ford until asked where she got the info. Rick Hansen derailed her maneuver by reading the actual letter authored by Mr. Ford himself. There was no definitive outcome of the conversation other than the Mayor saying “we prefer if citizens don’t use council member names”.

* When the facilitator asked council members to list how they perceived their role vs. the role of the city manager, Nicole Martineau said she felt council members were “vessels”. She had a hard time articulating what she meant exactly. She also said council members should be role models and that was easier for citizens to understand what she meant as they all watched her unwrap her lollipop and suck on it through the remainder of the discussion.

* A quarter way through the meeting, the facilitator asked several council members to stop rolling their eyes, smirking and displaying other facial expressions and body gestures that to her indicated that they were not respectful of fellow members. She said if council members can’t behave in a respectful way toward each other, how can they expect the citizens in the audience to respect them. Citizens had been watching Nicole Martineau and Tami Brouillet (sitting next to each other) do this from the beginning of the meeting. The facilitator told the council that perhaps they have “trained” the citizens how to act due to the public disrespect shown between council members. And, if they are indeed role models, why should they expect a different behavior from citizens at the podium than they are displaying themselves at the dais.

* Nicole Martineau and Tami Brouillet said they have felt threatened at times stating they had been followed after council meetings, citizens had asked for their emails (shame on citizens), citizens had rushed the dais after meetings (not!) and their car tires had been vandalized. That’s some accusation to infer vocal citizens are somehow responsible for vandalism.

* Kathy Turner, Kent Boyle and Tami Brouillet asked why other council members and citizens keep calling the AG’s office and/or Tim Ford, stating the AG’s office opinions are no more valid that that of the city attorney. City Attorney, Cheryl Carlson, expanded on the comments. Tami Brouillet said we need to trust our staff.

* Nicole Martineau said John Knutsen was encouraging citizens to be vocal, complain, speak at the podium during meetings, etc. She also said Knutsen misrepresents council positions on various issues at Pierce County Regional Council meetings which makes her uncomfortable.
 
* Kathy Turner, Nicole Martineau and Tami Brouillet also disapproved of a study they say Knutsen told the acting city manager, Police Chief Collyer, to perform regarding Sounder commuter city addresses. Apparently when Collyer was acting city manager for several days, Knutsen had asked him if such a study “would be appropriate”. Seems like Collier made the decision to do the study, not Knutsen.
 
* Nicole Martineau spun the “fear card” into the discussion regarding citizen comments at meetings.  She used one more reason we had not heard earlier, that her reason for calling a “Point of Order” (during a citizen’s comment at a previous meeting) was to somehow disarm inflammatory rhetoric, similar to that which may have contributed to the incident in Arizona toward a congress woman.  We found her statement both non-sense and demeaning as to the character of citizens present at council meetings. 
 
* Mayor Turner stated she wants the ability to sanction other council members.

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8 Comments

Filed under Council Meetings

8 responses to “Observations from February 7 Workshop

  1. Jeff Moss

    This summary is much appreciated, Thank you!

    Was there any discussion from the council around performance expectations and goals for the city manager? Have they agreed on a performance appraisal process? Is the city manager’s annual performance review scheduled?

    The council can only hold staff accountable via the city manager. Failure to do so is a failure to perform one of their primary duties.

  2. David Couch

    Jeff, at last night’s council meeting, the council was given examples of city manager evaluations from other cities to review.

    They are going to review the forms and adopt one before the city manager’s next evaluation.

  3. Mike Stanzel

    I wonder who Turner wants to sanction?

    Given that there is all kinds of evidence now that Turner has chosen to disregard Puyallup code along with state and county laws, maybe the rest of the council should sanction her.

  4. Randy Cutter

    I think some of the council members are spending to much time on Friday and Saturday at Bumpy’s.

  5. Robert Lord

    Turner, Brouilette and Martineau were trying very hard to suggest that citizens are hooligans and that they themselves are blameless for the shambles the city’s finances are in. They continue to point the finger at others when all they have to do is look in the mirror to see the culprits.

    Martineau’s attempt to suggest that citizens are capable of what happened to congress woman Giffords was a new low for her. She has demonstrated little or no willingness to act like a district representative. The negative atmosphere that exists on the council is perpetuated by the three blonds.

    Martineau, perhaps is the worst of the three because of her overt behavior and efforts to discredit other council members and citizens that do not agree with her views. She displays a Seige Mentality. In medievil terms, she has raised the draw bridge over the moat, withdrawn behind the castle walls and “be damned with the storming of the walls by the serfs”.

  6. Mike Stanzel

    William F. Buckley said “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

    I think the same thing could be applied to the Puyallup Council

  7. Dave Churchman

    Martineau’s accusation of citizens slashing her tires is a manipulative groundless lie. There were approximately 20 citizens sitting in Steve Shores’ living room who heard her make that exact statement soon after she took office (before she alienated her district). At that time she stated that it was likely done by people who were pissed off at her husband (who is a cop). Now she has twisted an old story for her personal benefit 12 months later. A disgraceful tactic by a naive unqualified unelected selectee with a problematic attention disorder.

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