Letters to the Editor | Questionable Activities by our Current City Council

by Gary Harris | former Woodinville Mayor

I attended the March 21st city council meeting, as I have been doing for most of the past year. At this meeting, the first action taken, was a surprise agenda addition. An executive session, which usually requires preparations by staff. There was immediately a 4 to 3 vote (Mike Millman plus the three new council members) without a word of discussion. It is improbable that this action could have happened unless it had been discussed prior to the meeting. Washington state's Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), makes any group of 4 discussing a topic, even serially, outside of a public meeting a violation.

The result of the exec session was a political censure and removal of councilmember Best Campbell as the representative to the NERTS site selection process. I have attended every meeting about NERTS for over a year, Best-Campbell has been the ONLY Woodinville councilmember or staff to attend all meetings. She is very effective at speaking on Woodinville’s behalf. Removing councilmember Best-Campbell from this assignment is incomprehensible and only increases the likelihood that the dump will be located in Woodinville.

Councilmember Best-Campbell’s only “crime”? She spent her own money to travel with her family to Washington, DC during mid-winter break, and talked to our representatives about moving forward the much needed trestle replacement project that was a priority even before I joined council.

I believe this was yet another example of the mayor punishing any that question his activities. I wrote previously about Mike Millman's use of city funds to travel to DC, for what amounts to a campaign photo-op. Best-Campbell's success exposes his motivation - ego. Now I hear Millman had staff arranged the itinerary to stay an extra day just for Cherry Blossom pictures.

Mike Millman is self-serving and he doesn’t tolerate any dissent; with the undying support of the three new council members, he keeps getting his way. The city is left with his price-tags.

Another example of that is the removal of the 76 sign from the 522 offramp. We discussed this about two years ago, when I was mayor, so I know the costs. Millman must have made a real deal, as a private developer spent almost a million dollars over the property's value. Mike makes a campaign pitch about it too, always beginning with “I did this”. So, Woodinville is left to ask "What was promised to that (and other) developers?"

Please start listening to city council meetings on Woodinville TV (channel 21 on Comcast) or attend in person, so you can evaluate the behavior of the current council for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it.

Gary Harris

Former Woodinville Mayor