Great story from the Olympian’s Matt Batcheldor recently, in which he details what council members seem to be doing on their computers during meetings: secretly working out how to vote and mocking a member of the public who showed up to testify.
The paper got the council’s email records for half a dozen meetings over several months. Among the exchanges:
During the Oct. 14 meeting, in an e-mail to (councilman Craig) Ottavelli, (councilman Jeff) Kingsbury made a derisive comment about Gerald Reilly, a member of a citizen’s group that wants to turn much of the area between Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet into a park.
“Jerry Reilly can’t even look anyone in the eye. Coward,” Kingsbury wrote.
Asked about that, Kingsbury told the paper that Reilly was a friend and he wouldn’t comment on the e-mail.
The Olympia council also felt the love from the Tacoma News-Tribune, which editorialized:
We may be interlopers from outside Olympia, but the idea that a council could have what amounts to a secret meeting under the cover of an ostensibly legal and public one should be troubling to anyone concerned with ensuring that public business is done in public.