Citizen Editorial

Submit your viewpoints on local happenings and current events.

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Eric Onisko For City Commission Of Finance And Accounting

I have know Eric for over 12 years, including coworker and customer.  He has efficiently run high volume truck stops, and convenience stores and is and was a "turn around" guy. One who could improve existing production and efficiency, or completely turn around a failed or failing operation. He is proficient in accounting and restructuring, and has a string of success's. Recently he took over a store on Hwy 3 at Bayshore Store and improved a closed station for years into a successful business. A good track record, a good candidate.

John Reilly, Olympia, WA
August 1, 2015

Port Of Shelton - An Economic Engine w/o A Conscience?

Here are some of the generalities provided to the citizens by Port Commissioner, and candidate for reelection, Tom Wallitner, at the July 23 KMAS Candidates' Forum:

  • "... delicate real estate stuff."
  • "...really big deals."
  • "90,000 square feet"
  • "employment potential"

And my favorite, and Tom's too it would seem:

  • "We're all over it."

Granted these are taken out of complete sentences, but the complete sentences amounted to Mr. Wallitner saying he should be re-elected, following his 6-years at the Port, because they are doing some really great stuff now that he cannot talk about.

This is what causes the citizens concern when it comes to the Port of Shelton.

Why are the Port Commissioners engaged in things that they cannot talk about to the citizens of the Port District? 

Where is the transparency?

As an opponent of the Port's plan to bring Duke Energy and a French nuclear company to the Port's property, I am made very nervous by secret negotiations and "delicate real estate stuff." 

The County is busy re-writing the Comp Plan, under the direction of the Economic Development Council and the Chamber of Commerce, and the Port is engaged in "delicate real estate stuff." 

This should alarm our community.  This should make the hair on the back of our neck stand up.

I don't know Sue Patterson, but she is a citizen, not a pilot, and she speaks to bringing transparency to the Port and engaging with the citizens. 

Mr. Wallitner is a very  nice man, but I don't trust a politician who tells me he's got it, he's on top of it, he's, well, "all over it,"  while declining to provide details concerning what exactly it is that he is "all over."

I think a change at the Port of Shelton is in order. 

Vote Sue Patterson.  Let's give the Port of Shelton a conscience!

Katherine A. Price, Shelton, WA
July 24, 2015

Big Shoutout To Hoodsport Fire Department

Dear Editor,

We all know that our volunteer and professional fire women and men contribute so much to their communities.  They give up their personal time to train and to provide emergency services day and night.  When you see them I know they would appreciate your acknowledgment of their service. 

However, I am really writing this letter to thank those that are governing Mason County Fire District # 1.  You never hear much about those that are working behind the scenes.  So I want to tell you that Commissioners Mark Mcdougall, Jim Goodpaster and past Commissioner Pat Hart have done an outstanding job of leading the organization.  Our fire personnel are provided all the tools and training necessary to fulfil their responsibilities. 

It is through their leadership that the department has been so successful and run so well.  As far as I know they have never had a state audit finding.  They stay within their budgets and develop and approve policies to keep our fire personnel safe while meeting state and national requirements.  The big shout out goes to the great job they have done in doing a makeover of the interior and exterior of the fire hall and community center.  The Commissioners did this make over without borrowing money (they saved your hard earned money to get the job done) instead of going into debt. That’s called good governance.  I encourage the community to drive by and take a look on Finch Creek Rd.  I am sure the Commissioners would be glad to give you a look if requested.   Again, thanks.

Jack Janda, Hoodsport, WA

July 22, 2015

City Commissioner Candidates -- Make an Informed Decision!

In the upcoming August 4 Primary, city of Shelton residents have an important decision to make regarding the candidates running for the position of City Commissioner. I recommend you check out two great websites to help you make an informed decision.  These websites allow you to compare the platforms and hear the goals of the 3 candidates running for City Commissioner:  and

I am supporting Mike Olsen for re-election to the Shelton City Commission and urge you to vote for him in the August 4 primary.  There are 3 main reasons I am supporting Olsen:

1. His experience and knowledge :  Olsen has been serving as a City Commissioner the past 3 ½ years.  During this time he has become knowledgeable in all aspects of this position and recently received a Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities. To earn this distinction, Olsen completed over 30 hours of training credits. The program is designed for elected officials and  provides training in learning to effectively operate within the law, plan for the future, secure and manage funds, and foster community and staff relationships.  In addition, Olsen is the chair of several boards in the city and county; most notably he serves the community as  Chairman of the Mason Transit Authority Board, a position he has held the past two years.

2.  His dedication and commitment :  Olsen has been a resident and builder in Mason County for over 30 years. Prior to being elected to the City Commission he was a volunteer and advocate for city and county historic preservation efforts. Olsen takes his commissioner position very seriously; he studies for and comes well prepared for both city commission meetings and the various boards he serves on in his role as a commissioner. When I have attended city meetings I have been impressed by Olsen’s preparedness, his thoughtful questions and ability to act decisively.  He clearly articulates his concerns and opinions.  Olsen is not afraid to take a stand; he works collaboratively with other elected officials, government employees and various community entities and individuals on viable solutions to our most pressing community concerns and issues.

3. His specific ideas and strategies:  Many candidates tout that they have creative, new ideas and talk in generalities on how to revitalize Shelton. Olsen has specific ideas and strategies for improvement and puts forth initiatives to make these improvements a reality.  As we know, many streets in the city are in desperate need of repair.  Olsen chairs the new transportation benefit district committee, and with Commissioner Moore, spear headed this initiative.  The purpose of the transportation benefit district is to provide an ongoing revenue source for city road repairs. To read more about Olsen’s specific ideas and his platform, please visit his Facebook page:  Mike Olsen for Re-election to the Shelton City Commission.

Citizen Editorial by Gail Straus, Educator & advocate for homeless children & youth, 25 year resident of Shelton, WA

July 20, 2015

Chief Moody Explains Alcohol Impact Area

Recently I brought up the idea of a VOLUNTARY ban on sales of single cans of certain high alcohol content beverages being sold for less than $2 per can in the downtown area. I asked for public feedback and input from citizens and businesses. Here are some basic points of this issue.

What it is- It is simply a voluntary step by merchants in a given area to help alleviate public drunkenness and litter in the area. This step will eliminate the sale of individual cans of “high octane” or high alcohol content, 40oz beer that costs less than $2 per can. It is simply a small piece of a larger issue. (Steel Reserve, 4 Loko, Olde English 800 are some examples) The City of Olympia saw a 20% reduction in litter in the downtown area when they implemented a forced ban, ours is voluntary at this point.

What it is not- It is not a law or a regulation enforced by the city or government entity. It is not a quick fix, or a cure all for a larger societal issue. It is not an elimination of these sales; the alcohol can still be sold by the merchants, just not as a single can.

What else are we doing? We are working in partnership with several other agencies to have a multi-faceted, comprehensive plan to help the individuals that we deal with on a daily basis. These partnerships include Mason County Sheriff, Mason General Hospital, local mental health services, Municipal and Superior courts, Drug court, Veterans court. The voluntary alcohol ban is only one piece of a larger puzzle.

Why only in the downtown area? There is a larger concentration of liquor sales in the downtown area, than there is in other areas of the city. We continually see the downtown streets littered with empty 40 oz. high alcohol content beer cans. We also see intoxicated people carrying these cans and stepping into traffic, in the congested downtown area.

Chief Moody, Police Chief, Shelton, WA

July 13, 2015