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Then this happened — December 2022

…police accountability took a hit.  In In our March 2022 issue, WIP reported on threats to the reforms that constrained some use of force and high speed vehicle pursuits by police. After a coordinated fear campaign by law enforcement groups, the legislature rolled back key reforms. Police can once again use force “to prevent a person from fleeing” regardless of whether there is indication of a crime. An- other law restores the practice of high speed vehicle pursuits.  The bar against use of force — including shooting someone — is once again set low.

…the City of Olympia posted an opening for an entry-level police officer: starting salary $83,199— $109,000. If you’re 21, have a GED and are legally able to carry a gun— you can pass a test and start getting a big paycheck. Oh, you’d like to teach? Not so fast. You’ll need a BA and Teacher Certification. Then maybe you can apply for a job paying $51,000—88,000/year.

…one year after it was filed, Thurston County denied a citizen petition to dissolve the Flood Control Board that manages Black Lake. But Commissioners acknowledged the need to fund a comprehensive study of lake  management and Citizens for a Clean Black Lake, who asked for the dissolution, has offered to help them.

….WIP covers “stakeholder” views because consulting with those affected helps legitimate policy decisions. But when “stake- holder” really means beneficiary there’s no legitimacy dividend.

To get input on the need for a “cultural access” sales tax, Olympia staff met with individuals from 40 “stakeholder” groups, all of whom would benefit from the tax. The result? Yes to a tax because there’s “A strong need for increased financial support.”

Another example. City staff asked if it would be a good idea to expand a property tax exemption for devel- opers. It would! said “stakeholders”—all but one of whom was a developer benefitting from the tax exemption.

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REFLECTION: The vistas are stunning. The Olympics to the west…