EDITORIAL: Monte should be professional in criticism

An editorial about recent remarks during the Montesano City Council meeting.

I’ve mostly taken very little exception to the actions of the current Montesano City Council and Mayor.

In general, I’ve been lukewarm to most of their decisions, including Wi-Fi. The roundabout (or “traffic circle”) and rest stop proposal both appear to be old ideas brought back to life.

If you’ve been reading the “Pages of the Past” section of the paper, you’ll see that a rest stop was discussed in 1991 and 1992 at the former sewage treatment plant.

The May 17, 2012, issue of The Vidette features a column critical of the idea of installing roundabouts in Montesano. I’ve been told the column was penned when The Vidette got word that the city was considering a roundabout.

Like members of the council and reasonable people everywhere, I’m waiting for actual plans to be drafted before I form an opinion. I also recognize that there has been ample opportunity for public input (council meetings, council member email addresses are listed on the city’s website, letters to the editor, social media) and there will be a public hearing before anything moves forward.

Again, I’m luke warm. But I’ll be honest and disclose that I don’t live within city limits, though I do work in Montesano and shop here and use the library, so I have some stake in whatever ultimately happens.

I agree with the mayor that the hoopla in 2016 about the “stupid carpet” was just that, stupid.

But members of the council and the mayor should be admonished for recent discussions.

In recent public discussions, the council talked about a potential redefining of the public works director position’s title and job description. During that discussion, they made direct, and I would say insulting, references to outgoing public works director Rocky Howard.

Howard will resign on May 15 at the urging of city leadership. The city has said his job performance was the reason for the encouraged resignation.

The resignation has come with an agreement with Howard that includes a non-disparagment clause — meaning he can’t come back at the city over the pending resignation and current administrative leave.

Were the comments at the council meeting outlandishly offensive? No. But they were out of place and unreasonable. I don’t plan to publish them.

My overall thought on this matter is, give the man the same courtesy of non-disparagement.

The city has pushed him out, allegedly as a result of his job performance. It’s already time to move on. The agreement has been signed and it’s over.

Insulting the man is unnecessary.

And thank goodness former mayor Ken Estes was present to say something about the comments regarding Howard. He said as much I have now in fewer words.

If someone doesn’t do their job, let them go, but don’t add insult to injury.