Well, let’s see what sort of insane damage we’ve inflicted on our neighbors this week. (These are close-of-business numbers from Friday afternoon.)
*  US Senator Patty Murray again
*  US Congressman Norm Dicks AGAIN
*  28th Dist State Rep Troy Kelly again
*  28th Dist State Rep Tami Greene again
*  7th Dist County Council Stan Fleming – not new, just new to THAT job.

Same stuff. Different day.  So much for a clean sweep, huh?  In fact, all of our incumbents that ran are returning.  And as for the Republicans and Alice’s Tea Party sweeping the Democrats out of office…well, not around University Place!  The Mad Hatter didn’t even show up.  She stayed home…in Alaska.

By the way, for those who do not know, I am not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m a life-long Independent and intend to remain so.

At least the damned political ads are gone from the evening news and everyplace else, for that matter. Holy crap that was nauseating!  Does ANYBODY disagree with that observation?  ANYBODY?  And the signs! Mother of Mercy, what a blight! And they complain about a couple of real estate signs on a corner. That’s NOTHING like the visual disaster our community has been for the past months. No. Make that our nation. It’s not drastically different elsewhere. “Political freedom of speech as guaranteed by the US Constitution”  That’s the only defense I have ever heard for the mess our candidates make through their campaigners.  What a load of malarkey!  How sad that’s the way folks actually get elected, simple name recognition. And how do you achieve that?  Take the money. Spend the money. Buy the signs. Over and over and over and over again! Eventually the voter looks at his/her ballot and says, “Oh, I recognize that name.” and you add that to party loyalists who vote a straight slate of Republicans or Democrats regardless of what the individual may or may not bring to the task and what do you get? Elected! And now they all “wisely look out for our best interests”. Right.

Well, enough of that. Mark your calendar for Breakfast, November 13th at the American Legion Post on Cirque Drive just west of Bridgeport for a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00am to 11:00am. Here’s what’s shakin’… A group called the University Place Veteran’s Memorial committee was formed last year by our late Councilwoman Jean Brooks and her husband Harvey. The dream was to create a lasting memorial in our city, dedicated to the honor of all military veterans and their families from U.P.  The committee driving this project is made up of a broad brush stroke of the community from civic leaders to vets and other volunteers. What they are thinking this gives us is an appropriate place to hold veteran related events such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans’ Day and I’m sure there will be more, once it’s open.  Just south of the intersection of Cirque and Bridgeport in that small pocket park on the west side.  They anticipate a cost of some $250K.  So, we’ll likely see more events such as this breakfast at  the American Legion, November 13th.  You can buy tickets ahead of time by calling 202-7134 or email UPVeteransMemorial@gmail.com and request your tickets. (Good way to make a donation whether you can make the breakfast or not. I’m going to be busy with another event that day but you can bet my retired Air Force bipee that I just called Dennis Jones at 202-7234 and ordered three tickets!)  What a superb cause. Don’t miss out!  Get your tickets before the sell out!!!  It’s just a phone call or an email away!

Have you read the UP Council Goals for 2011-2012?  They are worth having a look at to see how the council has prioritized the actions of our city government for the next couple of years.  The budget they are currently working is directly in support of those goals and frankly the staff and council have been digging damned hard to make it all work.  The city website is the place to go for details and I hope you have been watching UPTV lately and have seen the excellent, brief production entitled “Budget 101”.  Simply the creation and airing of that is an outstanding service to us all.  Watch for it.

The DUCK is still here.  The duck does not have a name. That makes the duck think he isn’t loved. (Or so I’m told.) Oh, what shall we do about the duck?

Remember I told you the council is working on the budget right now?  We should know that this is an extraordinarily tough time to run a city.  With the economy the way it is, that makes any jurisdiction’s general fund act demonstratively depleted and they are.  You should SEE some of the cuts that are happening at other cities across the country. We are in GREAT shape compared to some others and then again, we are really tight compare to still a few other jurisdictions but the point is, it’s a tough time to budget!  Our council members could use your support right now.  The big budget night is at the November 15th council meeting.  We owe it to those who are working FOR us to be informed and involved.

Have you gotten the picture that I stand in support of our city council?  Well, good because I do. I’m especially glad you see that because I am about to take issue with an item they are working over right now and that’s their own 3% cost of living annual increase.  You can discuss their plans to change that effective with future elections or you can refer to the law that says they cannot decrease their own salaries or you can bring up the fact that their salaries are very minor to begin with…No, NOBODY could live on them, they are tiny.  I know council members who I respect and often agree with don’t agree with this but my position very simply is, until we can fund our kids programs, the operations of our senior center,  REVERSE staff cuts and furloughs and reduced hours, until we can return to a budget that is not at core levels of service or less, the council takes NO increases!  None.  Some have set a marvelous example by way of a creative method to do that.  Former Mayor Linda Bird refused increases. She handed hers back to the city and I know that Mayor Koslowski and Council Member Belleci stand with Linda’s good example. Other council members also have, in the past.  Again, until the city can return to “normal” fully funded operations, the council should refuse any salary increases and frankly it should have started LAST YEAR!  Please don’t misunderstand. I am not operating under the delusion that this will solve the city’s budget woes. It won’t. It’s a drop in the bucket but your don’t refill that bucket until somebody starts dropping some in!   LEAD!

Nobody’s asked me but I would be just fine with paying an extra $20 on my car tabs to help our local crisis in funding IF it was applied to Public Safety.  So, count me in for 5 x $20 = $100 per year.  If that, collected from all UP resident’s vehicles, can fund the replacement of an eliminated Police officer…DO IT!

I almost don’t want to bring up the next point, that of council benefits but let me just offer the following consideration, briefly. I don’t believe anyone runs for city council to earn health care benefits. (If they do, they are very confused.)  Most cities, including ours, do not pay council members a salary plus benefits that comes anywhere near reimbursing them for all they give to our city…not nearly.  However, if I cannot take the loss in income which may occur when I am away from my job and out doing city business. If I am struggling to afford health care or I just don’t have any and I’m looking for it. If I am not financially able, I should not be running for city council.  I should get my own financial ducks in a row before I stand up and say, “I’m prepared to lead!”.  Yes, that’s an oversimplification but it’s also appropriate.  Further, what is being spent on council benefits is about enough to hire back that police investigator who Chief Wilder and the citizens of University Place need and deserve.   If I can’t afford to be a city council member without getting health care and other such benefits from the city, then I can’t afford to be a city council member.  When times are tight, we tighten up but NOT in Police Protection!  To tie a ribbon around this entire topic, you’ll remember I started chatting about the goals of the city council?  They have clearly stated that Public Safety is priority number one.  PLEASE be so kind as to put your money where your mouth is.   Some most certainly are.  LEAD!

[ Remove soapbox and get back to…. ]

Did you know that the city’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) is seeking to fill a vacancy?  The commission gets involved in a lot, behind the scenes around the business environment of our city.  The EDC was behind the change to license renewal with the state. They have been integral with respect to the city’s recent actions on development fees and they have their fingers in everything from Town Center to business planning and education.  If you are interested, contact Becky Metcalf at the city.  Oh, by the way, the next time the EDC makes a recommendation to council that effects your business and you don’t like it, if you didn’t step up to at least investigate what it would take to serve on the commission now that it has a vacancy,  well don’t complain then.  In other words, here’s your chance!

Here’s also a good opportunity for a well deserved “Thanks“.  Now that little league football has come to the end of their season, it makes me think of all of the parents/adults/volunteers involved in that and other youth athletic programs, here.  I saw a lot of 4th grade tackle football games this fall and I don’t think I ever saw fewer than seven or eight coaches on the field with our team. Most of the competing teams from other communities can’t say that.  Most of those coaches were Dads and appropriately so but some were  just lovers of the game with a warm spot in their hearts for the little guys. That’s pretty cool.  Whether it’s soccer, football, lacrosse, wrestling, basketball, baseball…I’m forgetting some I’m sure but the point is it’s time to say thanks to two groups.  Those Mom’s behind the scenes organizing everything from banquets to game videos (and grandmas making cookies) to Dad’s out on the field and for that matter, the Mom’s who coach, too.  You all deserve a huge THANKS on behalf of the kids and the community at large. In these austere economic times, YOU are the reason our kids have a program. Whether it’s community or club sports, your work supporting the athletics of our little guys and gals are a DIRECT cause for the successes of our high school programs, to say nothing of the development of character in each and every one of those impressionable junior athletes.YOU make University Place a better place to live!  THANKS!

Be Well,

Pat Maddock



So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.