Letters to the Editor - February 25, 2013

  • Written by Readers

I was one of the few citizens in attendance at the council meeting in the news.

It is not easy to make me feel uncomfortable, but the mayor certainly did just that when he, for all intents and purposes, asked for the resignation of Mr. Hageman.

Your reporter describing the atmosphere in the room as a “stony silence” is a bit of an understatement.

Now I rarely attend council meetings, and I have never had, to the best of my knowledge, any personal interaction with either Mr. Hageman or Mr. Talmas.

And I do think that the mayor had the right to bring up the issue.

But I would have thought that as the mayor and leader of the city council Mr. Talmas would have consulted with both Mr. Hageman, as well as the city attorney prior to the public meeting that Tuesday night as a matter of decency if nothing else, although perhaps out of respect for the concept of due process.

As to whether Mr. Hageman is eligible to have a seat at the council, for me that is a rather trivial issue that has a clear method of adjudication through legal due process procedures.

I am more concerned that Mr. Talmas had clearly been investigating Mr. Hageman, ranging from obtaining bank records (private) and real estate records (public) to, most disturbing — night time surveillance.

All I can say is that as a private citizen with no axe to grind against any council member, or perhaps a single axe to grind against all of the council members equally, I left the council chambers feeling disturbed at what I had just witnessed.

R Jaffe, Woodinville

In response to Mayor Talmas’ unexpected public questioning of Councilmember Hageman’s residency.

Really, Mr. Mayor, really? That is the way you would like to address a potential anomaly in regards to a fellow council person?

Don’t you think a simple phone call to your colleague would have been more appropriate?

As a resident, I think Councilman Hageman’s response was satisfactory and as I said could have been cleared up with him with a short discussion instead trying to embarrass him in public.

Shame on you.

What I want to know is how was this brought to your attention?

Do you have secret spies?

Are you doing random property searches on your fellow councilmembers or just ones that don’t always agree with you?

Mr. Mayor, do you know what really creeps me out?  Either you, a PI, or some really close friends have been stalking Mr. Hageman to know his late night comings and goings from a house in Kirkland.

Do other council people need to worry about you spying on them?

Do I or other citizens need to worry about random things coming to your attention that really has to be searched for?

Somebody had to really take some time and effort to magically “Bring this to your attention.” Just creepy!

Toren Heald, Woodinville

Dear Woodinville City Attorney, Woodinville councilmembers and Woodinville taxpayers:

During the 02/12/2013 Woodinville council meeting, Councilmember Scott Hageman stated that he moved from his principle residence off Woodinville/Duvall Road and that he had leased another principle place of residence not far from where he used to live.

By his own words, Scott Hageman no longer lives at the address where his current voter registration states he does.

Scott Hageman is therefore not in compliance with state law regarding residency requirements and is no longer qualified to receive compensation for councilmember duties.

Woodinville City Attorney Greg Rubstello stressed the importance of addressing councilmember qualifications in a timely manner, and the Woodinville council should take his advice.

I respectfully request that Woodinville officials suspend Scott Hageman’s councilmember compensation until he is in compliance with residency requirements, is deemed qualified to retain a position on the Woodinville council and is entitled to compensation.

I further request that the Woodinville council, by resolution, demand that the city attorney investigate Scott Hageman’s residency from August 1, 2012, to date and advise the council as to the options available for assuring that Scott Hageman is in compliance with residency requirements. (See RCW 35.23.111 City Attorney Duties)

Although it may not be up to the Woodinville council to rule on residency issues per se, it is the job of the council to be a good steward of tax funds and to determine if there is a risk of wasting city resources reviewing the status of past votes by a councilmember who might later be deemed unqualified to hold office.

Attached is a record of Scott Hageman’s Kirkland mailing address, which is a residence in Kirkland that is owned by Scott (Stanley S.) and his wife.

Also attached is Scott’s current voter registration, which lists his residence as the home “Off Woodinville/Duvall Road” where Scott stated he no longer resides.

As of today, Scott Hageman’s voter registration shows him “residing” at his house on Woodinville/Duvall Road but his mailing address is a Kirkland house.

Scott updated his mailing address but the fact that he didn’t update his residence address suggests intent to misinform the Washington Secretary of State and King County Elections about his actual abode.

The laws:

RCW 42.12.010(4) -- “Elective office shall become vacant” . . . when . . . “his or her ceasing to be a legally registered voter of the . . . city”

RCW 29A.04.151 -- “’Residence’ for the purpose of registering and voting means a person’s permanent address where he or she physically resides and maintains his or her abode.”

RCW 29.08.810(1)(c) -- “Registration of a person as a voter is presumptive evidence of his or her right to vote. A challenge to the person’s right to vote must be based on personal knowledge of one of the following . . .

(c) The challenged voter does not live at the residential address provided . . . “

Dale Knapinski, Woodinville

I was dumbfounded when I read about how Mayor Talmas attacked Councilmember Scott Hageman over his alleged lack of residency in Woodinville.

Talmas was on such a tear he couldn’t even wait for the roll call. And why on earth did Talmas have to reveal how much Mr. Hageman paid for his home in Kirkland much less the details of his loan?!

Had the mayor a shred of decency he would have contacted Mr. Hageman privately and simply asked him to produce proof of residency instead of carrying out his personal vendetta in public.

I don’t know about anyone else, but next election I’ll cast a vote for decency and try to elect whoever runs against Talmas.

Steve Mercanet, Woodinville

On behalf of Mikayla Bassett’s family and the committee who helped turn a dream of helping the Bassetts into a reality, thank you to the Crystal Springs community and the wonderful citizens of our Northshore community.

Not only did you donate so many goods for our Mikayla’s Journey Community Rummage Sale Fundraiser on February 16 that we spilled out of the gym into the breezeway and covered basketball court at our school, but you also came and shopped your hearts out in support of this family!

We had a humble goal of raising $3,000 for a first and last month’s rent deposit to get the Bassett family back into a home in Bothell.

They were homeless after a several month stay at Ronald McDonald House in Seattle while their daughter battled leukemia.

Her battle drained all the family’s financial resources. We were stunned when the final counting of the money revealed over $17,000 raised!

We believe it takes a village to raise a child, but we’ve since learned a village can help heal a family.

Thank you so much!

Jane Weiss,

Mikayla’s 2nd grade teacher, Crystal Springs Elementary, Bothell

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