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Letter: 'Hostile behavior' exhibited at city council meeting was 'disheartening'

I have called the Northshore School District area home since my family moved here in 1989.

For the past eight over those 31 years I have called Woodinville home and I am proud to be raising my son in the same school district that I grew up in. 

For as long as I have known it, I have considered the NSD community to be a safe place to engage in any of its local governments and be respectfully heard. 

As a mom and citizen of city of Woodinville, I try to engage in our local government by watching the meetings online, sometimes with my middle schooler alongside me. I try demonstrate to my child that no issue is too small, he can make change locally, and he will be respectfully heard and treated fairly.

The Woodinville City Council meeting on June 16 unfortunately gave me pause when there was an abrupt addition to the agenda nearly three hours into the meeting calling for the dismissal of Nicolas Duchastel de Montrouge from his position with the planning commission. 

I don’t know Nicolas, but the timing of this agenda item addition was peculiar and was incongruous with the tone of most meetings. As a constituent, the discussion sounded like a stream of emotion laden accusations and felt like nothing more than hearsay at best. 

The gently-spoken Susan Boundy-Sanders appeared to be completely caught off guard by this last-minute agenda addition and was attacked by fellow councilmember, Rachel Best-Campbell and Mayor Elaine Cook for attempting to get some clarity on the matter. 

The hostile behavior I witnessed by Best-Campbell and Cook far exceed the very same accusations that were made about Nicolas Duchastel de Montrouge. 

My jaw dropped. This is was all very disheartening. 

This happened in the very same meeting as Mayor Cook proposed to create a space supported by city for a BIPOC high school+young adult youth leadership group, which put a smile on my face earlier in the meeting only to be replaced by feelings of distrust toward city officials after watching the drama that unfolded hours later in the meeting.  As a parent, I’d be worried that council members and the mayor subject a child or young adult to this same hostility. 

Mayor Cook and Council; I ask of you to be fair to one another. Make sure your council members are all prepared equally with agenda items prior to meetings, examine what is and is not appropriate for these meetings, refrain from side conversations with others during the meeting, refrain from communicating with one another electronically during the meetings. 

In order to build trust with our community, including our youth, it’s important that you conduct city business in good faith, you are transparent, and lead by example. 

Joanie Lambert

Woodinville

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