At a City of Shelton Commissioners meeting not so long ago, candidate (for Mayor) Dawn Pannell’s competence was openly questioned during the public comment period for her refusal to inform (when directly asked) what her position on additional incinerators (Simpson’s) in the downtown harbor area was. She demurred by claiming she couldn’t reveal that information since she was a sitting City Commissioner. She ignored the retort that Shelton’s City Commissioners are NOT judges, and all manner of legislators and those running for administrative positions, sitting or not, answer such questions every day when posed. Despite being put on notice she’d received bad legal advice regarding this issue, Ms. Pannell continues to stonewall the public when asked what her position on environmental pollution would be if elected as Shelton’s chief public safety official in City Hall–continuing to demonstrate her unsuitability for the position due to her incompetence on this fundamental principle of elective office and democratic principles.
Now it is revealed she is either too incompetent or disdainful to comply with election laws. All candidates must file with the PDC (public disclosure comission in Washington State) certain information even if they don’t solicit or receive a dime in contributions. Many triggers exist for the beginning of a 14-day threshold such as publicly announcing candidacy (which Ms. Pannell did long before actually filing), campaign spending, etc. The final cut is the filing deadline, after which (or before) the 14 days to comply with the election laws begins–i.e. actually filing with the PDC whether you received any contributions or not.
As of this date, in the Shelton Mayoral race, only Mr. Gary Cronce (who has never held elective office, unlike Dawn Pannell) has done so. But he’s the same downtown businessman who claimed in yesterdays candidate forum (sponsored by KMAS) that he hadn’t heard of or knew nothing about BIOMASS! How an issue that rocked the community could go unnoticed or without investigation by one of the city’s businessmen is incredible in its own right.
Question: Do we want incompetent boobs and/or scofflaws indifferent to election laws before they’re even out the gate holding office trusted to do the public’s business and in a manner favoring citizens rather than corporate special interests? How can we trust a candidate (Pannell) whose abysmal track record has left the streets of Shelton in their current unsightly state, who won’t answer questions by voters on issues like protecting their health from dirty filthy anachronisms (e.g. Simpson), a corporation which tells others to ‘move over and let the Big Dog eat’ in 6-inch headlines announcing their record profits even a few years ago all accompanied by the dumping of Dioxin into city sewers and ultimately into Oakland Bay and Shelton harbor?…or Gary Cronce who feigns ignorance about ‘biomass’ (see video of his response at the candidates’ forum)…or worse, might actually BE ignorant/indifferent to it in his pursuit of overturning regulations in order to attract business no matter what the cost to residents and their children?
Then there’s the matter of the Pork of Shelton Commissioner race. Jack Miles and Mr. Avery are the only candidates in that race currently in compliance with campaign laws despite Mr. Dick Taylor’s recitation of holding elective office in the past. Mr. Taylor’s indifference/incompetence is understandable at 74 years of age. Whether he’s healthy enough to finish his term, were he elected, is open to doubt and one observer opined Dick was nodding off in the midst of the candidates’ forum last night. We already have a Pork dominated by geriatric incompetent commissioners in poor health that affects their judgment, delegation of power/responsibilities, and mental cohesion.
Nor did Mr. Taylor submit a candidate’s statement in a timely fashion, hence it will be missing from the ballot…another example of what to expect if he is elected as an addition to the other 2 geriatric incompetent Pork Commissioners?
Shouldn’t our elected officials (Dawn Pannell) abide by the laws if they want to be the City’s chief elected administrative officer and Commissioner? Shouldn’t they respect transparency in government when voters seek to know their thoughts about potentially harmful/polluting industrial permit requests? Tracy Moore was the only Mayoral candidate to give a reasonably decent account of herself when it came to protecting citizens from industrial blight, Dioxin, and destruction of residents’ quality of life.
Conclusion: 3 weak candidates are running for the Mayor spot in Shelton, Dawn Pannell (a sitting commissioner presently), Gary Cronce (a downtown businessman w/no prior experience as an elected official), and Tracy Moore (24 year downtown resident w/no prior experience in political office).
Dawn Pannell refuses to answer public questions as to whether she supports yet another incinerator in Shelton, incompetently relying on bad legal advice (from the City’s attorney) that she should not answer such policy questions because of the ‘appearance of fairness’ doctrine–ignoring the obvious fact she is not running to be JUDGE, but mayor…and despite all the evidence surrounding the public of all manner of candidates for elective office in the administrative and legislative branches of government (e.g. Mayor, senator, congressman, governor, etc.) taking firm positions with respect to important public policy issues. Dawn Pannell used the same dodge when asked about environmental public safety at the KMAS sponsored candidates forum. Given the Mayor is the City’s chief elected public safety official, her stonewalling the public on this point is offensive and indicative voters should refuse to support her since she will not voice support for residents on this vital point. It’s elementary: The time to ask a candidate’s views/position is BEFORE they’re elected, NOT after! No answer?–No vote.
Gary Cronce would seem to take an extreme libertarian perspective when it comes to regulations: The less, the better. Perhaps NONE would be best of all according to his manifesto. While such seductive arguments might appeal to builders such as Mr. Cronce, it fails to address environmental issues affecting the community and our children’s health. When asked as to his views about supporting biomass based industry in Shelton (during the candidates forum), Gary retorted, “Biomass? What’s that?”, then promptly proceeded to hand the microphone to Tracy Moore.
If Mr. Cronce, having been a downtown businessman during one of the most heated and contentious debates (Adage) to confront the community in this century feigns/demonstrates ignorance on the issue, he’s either been living under a rock or is stonewalling the community before even holding elective office. Both possibilities should serve to preclude him from office despite his superior air of confidence and personal affability. Mr. Cronce has been an ardent supporter, historically, of virtually all of County Commissioner Tim Sheldon’s positions, including biomass in Mason County…despite all the historically well documented evidence of egregious misconduct on the part of the Simpson corporation(s). It would seem Gary subscribes to the notion “God helps those whom God has already helped.” If you like the industrial blight past City administrations and Simpson have brought you, then Gary’s your man.
Tracy Moore is perhaps the ‘squishiest’ of the 3 candidates for Mayor. When interviewed (by phone), she was clueless as to what branch of the government a City Commissioner belongs. Given Dawn Pannell’s ill conceived notions of refusing to reveal her opinions on public policies surrounding the Mayor’s office, such ignorance of fundamental government structure is unacceptable. A more recent interview (of her husband) revealed a waffling on whether Ms. Moore would leave her existing employment to dedicate herself full-time (if elected) to her duties as Mayor.
With respect to environmental pollution and public health/safety, Ms. Moore appeared ill informed and incredulous that a company such as Simpson would deliberately flush Dioxin into the City’s sewage treatment plant (during the 80’s) and thereby into its harbor/bay where it remains to this day at levels around 902ppt, asking “Well, they’re not STILL doing that, are they?” That is the wrong question to be asking about a company (Simpson) who seeks to renew their permit to continue their dirty filthy anachronistic downtown operations and industrial blight…even seeking to ADD to the filth by requesting permission to build yet another incinerator in our midst.
Voters have a hard choice to make between indifference, ignorance, and incompetence. It’s like the 3 stooges are running for Mayor. Shelton deserves better.