A recent issue of the Grays Harbor Herald includes an interesting bit of phrasing regarding Montesano City Council Member Marisa Salzer. It appears on page 3 of the December 31, 2014 issue under the headline, 2014 – What a Year for Grays Harbor. It goes like this:
”Shaking things up a little, Montesano and the City Council had their hands full when City Council Woman Marisa Salzer brought it to their attention that not enough was being done to assist her and her position in the City Council to allow her to participate in council business. Salzer was born with a rare hearing loss and the City of Montesano was making it difficult for her to fully participate in meetings.”
- Did the city not provide Salzer with the interpreter(s) she required from the get-go?
- Were other electronic resources/systems/options to accommodate Salzers disability not explored?
- Did the city not try its darndest to find her two interpreters, at considerable expense to taxpayers, when suddenly notified that a single interpreter wouldn’t cut it due to meeting length? (Summer meetings may be longer because they are once a month, rather than the usual twice a month schedule during the school year.)
- Did the city not meet and exceed Salzer’s ”has to be certified” demand in October, after a city council meeting was derailed because Salzer claimed she couldn’t understand an interpreter? This, even though the same interpreter, Alice Akrish, interpreted for Salzer at least twice before, with no complaints.
- A previously scheduled council meeting is recessed and rescheduled to accommodate one person? How is that ”making it difficult for her to fully participate in meetings”? What about the rest of the council? Or constituents?
- Did the city not engage Michael Kosanovich of Olympia this past fall, who not only meets but exceeds the certification level of prior interpreters?
- Has Salzer steadfastly refused to meet with the mayor, who has consistently maintained an open door policy?
Lets get real. Look at this from a different angle: Has Salzer made it difficult for city government to govern, due to the time, energy and resources required to meet her seemingly endless demands? Is Salzer harassing the city? Is she retaliating? Why is she refusing to fully comply with a public record request from October 2014? (Salzer was contacted directly before Christmas and reminded that, “My public records request is still outstanding as of this date.” Crickets.)
Reality check: Just who’s making what difficult for whom - and why?