Spokane Valley City Councilman Dean Grafos’ comments directed at Bill Gothmann at the July 6, 2010, council meeting.
Dean Grafos: Last week Mr. Gothmman insinuated once again from the dais that my motivation on this council was less than honorable, somehow dishonest and I was guided by my own financial interests. Mr. Gothmann, I do not have a problem with your weekly blathering and bragging, but out of respect for your position as a council person, before your next diatribe, poison email release or sideshow for the cameras or press, you could at the very least disclose the fact that you are a very active and vocal member of the SVBA.
Rose Dempsey: Point of order. Point of order.
Grafos: Point of order?
Dempsey: In our governance manual, section 7, it says “we believe that council members set the tone for civic discussion and should set an example by a) setting high standards of decorum and civility.” I would request that we do that.”
Grafos: Point of order. I have a right to speak in response to what Mr. Gothmann said last week, Rose. I chose to run for council not to promote the agenda of any special interest group, but because I love this Valley. I live here, employ people here, have taken financial risks here, worked and prospered and paid taxes here for over 40 years. You also made a big point of my involvement with the disincorporation movement and that I was a major financial donor to that movement. For a man who knows everything in the world, you got it wrong again. I would like to give you and the rest of the council a copy of the letter signed by Dorothy Dieni, the treasurer of the Citizens for Disincorporation, stating that I did not contribute money to the Citizens for Disincorporation and further states that you can verify this fact with the PDC in Olympia. I did, however, Bill, walk Valley neighborhoods in that effort and I did speak with thousands and thousands of your fellow citizens. Many of the citizens who signed that petition may or may not have voted for disincorporation, but they wanted to exercise their right of petition, which is guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States. We do this as Americans when we have an unresponsive government. You know, that right of petition you and your fellow council member, Mrs. Dempsey, made fun of recently on the Sullivan Road closure. I’m surprised that the man who knows everything didn’t know that. After all, you brag about being on the governance committee and having written the governance manual for the city. I must have missed the chapter on self importance and character assassination.
Dempsey: Again, Mr. Mayor, I must protest with a point of order. I don’t consider this type of diatribe conducive to civil conversation.
Grafos: I’m responding to what Mr. Gothmann said and you said last week. And Mrs. Dempsey, the next time someone on this council attempts to revisit or discuss an issue passed by yourself and the previous council and you feel compelled to interrupt, make faces or put them down for questioning the wisdom of some prior council decision, please take a good look around. The previous council that made those decisions is no longer here. That is called an election. Thank you.