Tuesday, November 20, 2007

City Council Meeting - Report

The Port Townsend city council meeting hall was swamped - filled to the brim and overflowing! - with citizens burning with the need to say their piece. It was a people-power extravaganza!

Unfortunately, they weren't there to ask about city policy about renewing permits for businesses built with public money and about to evict Medicaid recipients. No, the real outrage in the community had to do with the threat to close the Mountain View swimming pool.

Nick Harper and Doug Campbell stood up and addressed the council. Their points were that the city issued a permit for the Victoria House, and that the permit would lapse December 31st. They asked that the council consider ways of linking the issuance of a new permit contingent on keeping as many as possible of the Victoria House Eleven instated in the facility.

In terms of hope-for-humankind it pleases me to report that one of the council members had tears running down her cheeks during Doug's 3-minute comment. Thanks for that, Councilwoman Medlicott.

In a private conversation after the meeting, Mayor Welch promised he would give this web address to City Attorney, John Watts, and get back to us about whether there is anything the city can do.

So, action step: contact each of the council members and the city attorney. Politely ask that something be done at the city level about the permit - and suggest that pressure be put on the Assisted Living Concepts company with regard to the facility's unilateral decision to cut its relationship with Medicaid. Click on this link for contact information for the council members. And click here to write an email to John Watts. Alternatively, use paper mail. Direct correspondence to the person of your choice, City of Port Townsend, 250 Madison Street, Port Townsend, Washington, 98368. Be polite. Be concise. Be clear - but be writing.


PortlyDyke said...

Shunra -- I am a PT resident and a blogger -- this is the letter that I just sent to the entire council (with a separate letter for the attorney)

I'm writing to you to express that I am terribly saddened and shocked by the Victoria House's eviction of medicaid residents. I worked with low-income elders for 10 years as an employee of the Housing Authority of Portland, and my own parents are in their 80s. These folks could be my mom and dad, or any of the wonderful elders that I had the privilege to work with for a decade.

I love Port Townsend, and one of the reasons that I love it is because I perceive the people here are caring and connected.

I realize that this course of action has been instigated by a for-profit corporation. However, I think that if we, as a community, stand by and allow it to happen, we tacitly support an action which reflects horribly on our community standards.

I am writing to ask you to do what you can to make sure that Port Townsend doesn't become known as "the town that chooses corporate profits over its elders", by asking the City Attorney to investigate all options for blocking this move by Assisted Living Concepts.

I am writing because I don't think I could live with myself if I did nothing. I hope that you share this thought.

Please contact me at my blog (I couldn't find an email contact for you here) -- you can find me at http://portlytruestories.blogspot.com

Shunra said...

Bless you, PD, for writing and sending that letter. I've dropped you a line - and followed you to your generous post on Shakespeare's Sister.

Thanks so much for your help!