Russ Burke Lawsuit Over

The Russ Burke lawsuit against the City of Montesano is over.

In a prepared statement released on April 21, former Montesano Mayor Ken Estes wrote:

To Montesano’s Citizens,

Last week I was pleased to receive confirmation from our counsel, Alex Casey, that the February 22 unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the Superior Court’s dismissal of the claims filed by Russell Burke and his spouse against the City of Montesano, Kristy Powell, the former City Administrator, Rocky Howard, the former Director of Public Works, and myself, then serving as Mayor, was final.  I can assure all of you that when I was elected Mayor of the City of Montesano,  I certainly had not anticipated having to work through the departmental issues which came to our attention nor to take the various administrative steps leading to discipline of some employees and, as to Mr. Burke, his dismissal.  However difficult it was to carry out the actions, it was our duty to the Citizens of Montesano to make certain that the City’s resources were properly utilized.

I would like to thank the City’s insurer Nicholson & Associates Insurance and Travelers Insurance Company, for their belief in us; Alex Casey, Ann Trivett, and Robert Christie, the legal counsel designated to handle this matter at the various levels; Scott Snyder, the City’s labor counsel, for providing such effective representation at all levels; and Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers and Sgt. Shane Krohn for their assistance.

I especially appreciate the support of Dan Glenn (then city attorney), Rocky and Kristy as we worked our way through the various investigations and actions.  Then, there has been the unwavering and so much appreciated support of my spouse without which this matter would have been even more difficult to work through.  Also, I would also like to thank those Citizens of Montesano who understood why it was necessary to take the steps leading to this litigation.

In closing, when I received the complaint filed by Mr. Burke’s counsel back in 2013, I was both shocked and saddened by the allegations.  The fact that after three and one-half years two courts have found that there was no legal or factual basis to support those claims which had received much news coverage and talk around town, reaffirms to me one basic point.  That point is that while doing the right thing is often not easy, things come out right in the end.  I can assure you that it has been a difficult period for Kristy, Rocky, myself and unfortunately, our respective spouses and families.  However, that “book” is now closed and may all move on with their lives.

For those who would like to read the Court of Appeal’s decision, I have left a copy at the Clerk’s Office at City Hall.”

Ken Estes.  Mayor 2012-2015

Reached in Utah for comment, Ms. Powell responded:

I’m glad that the city prevailed. Our responsibility was to secure and protect the assets of the City of Montesano and we did so. The results handed down by the courts support our actions.

The former Public Works Director, Russ Burke filed a lawsuit against the City of Montesano,, after he was terminated in 2013 by then-Mayor Ken Estes amid allegations of misuse of city equipment and supplies per a theft investigation regarding city paint. Burke claimed he was terminated due to “political retaliation.” He filed a $400,000 claim against the city.  (For background, see: Russ Burke Loses Appeal and THIS is What an Epic Fail Looks Like.)

A February 22, 2017 decision by the Washington State Court of Appeals rejected Burke’s claim. The decision affirmed  a 2015 Superior Court ruling granting the City of Montesano’s motion for summary judgment. The appellate court also said the City of Montesano “had a legitimate reason to terminate Burke for insubordination.”

In fact, not a single court affirmed Burke’s claim.

To the Bow Wow Brigade and its lock-step “media” lackeys who used the Burke dismissal to launch and drive a hate campaign against Ken Estes and Kristy Powell and made maligning and savaging both your favorite indoor sport: Want some ketchup with that crow?

Shame on you.

Lady Justice – Public Domain

POLL: Should County Require Additional Deliverables in GGHI Contract?

Okay, peeps. Time for another totally subjective, 100% unscientific poll.

There’s been a fair amount of disagreement surrounding the proposed addition of specific “deliverables” – performance benchmarks – related to $88K of county support for Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. Some see this as “punishment” for… whatever. Others see it as responsible fiscal management of taxpayer bucks.

Here’s your chance to chime in.

Just click on the appropriate option in the poll below and hit “Vote.” All votes are confidential. All votes will be counted, but you can only vote once. The poll closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24. Results will be announced soon thereafter.

Ready? Set? Go:


‘Cold Calls’ a $ticking Point In County Agreement With GGHI

Image result for "frozen telephone"

Grays Harbor County Commissioners and representatives from Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. engaged in a lengthy and sometimes lively discussion at this morning’s commissioner workshop.

At issue was Commissioner Wes Cormier’s proposal for specific benchmarks or ‘deliverables‘ GGHI is expected to meet in relation to receiving a record $88K in county support. Whether or not the county can or should require additional deliverables – performance benchmarks – beyond what the state requires of GGHI was also at issue. (For background, see: Commissioners Dig Into Deliverables, Ballot Boxes & Bucks.)

The forty minute discussion, which was spirited at intervals, included Commissioners Wes Cormier, Vickie Raines, Randy Ross, and GGHI Executive Director Dru Garson and GGHI Chair Dave Ward, respectively. (If you ever want to see some really, really awesome pics of hiking Mount Saint Helens on a clear, sunny day in April, ask Dave.)

Much of the conversation related to Cormier’s proposal to include additional “deliverables” – including a specified number of “cold calls” – related to the funding agreement.

Continue reading “‘Cold Calls’ a $ticking Point In County Agreement With GGHI”

How to Melt a Snowflake in 5 Easy Steps

There are about a million ways to melt a snowflake. All it takes is about two seconds and half a brain. Here are five options:

  1. Use something other than mono-syllabic sentences.
  2. Stand respectfully and remove your hat during the National Anthem. Bonus points: place your hand over your heart and belt out the rockets red glare at nose bleed volume.
  3. Disagree
  4. Disagree using facts.
  5. Invite a common sense conservative to speak on a college campus, aka: free speech-free zones. Like David Horowitz.

In an April 13 email to supporters, Unbelievable: I Was Censored at Berkeley, Horowitz describes how the snowflake brigade reacted when College Republicans – gasp ! – invited him to speak at UC Bigotry on April 12:

In my case, the administration insisted that the speech take place at 1 pm, when most students are in class, and at a site a half mile away from the campus itself. But that wasn’t enough. UC Campus Police Chief Yao, in a moment that called up Lewis Carroll as well as Kafka and Orwell, told me that College Republicans could announce the event but not tell people where it would take place.

But the administration wasn’t through. Two days before the event, the College Republicans were summoned to a meeting with Vice Chancellor Sutton and UCPD Captain Yao to be told that in addition to the other burdens their club was going to be charged $5,778 for “security” and an additional $2,000 for rental on the room that was half a mile from campus.

Doubtless Chuck Schumer and Rachel Maddow would receive similar treatment, right?

Horowitz continues:

Continue reading “How to Melt a Snowflake in 5 Easy Steps”

‘Punishment’ or Responsible Fiscal Management?

Let’s say you’re in ‘commission sales.’ If you sell something, you get paid. If you sell more, you get paid more.

A boss is willing to approve a raise if you’re willing to demonstrate a tangible commitment to boosting sales. Improving the company’s bottom line. So rather than writing you a blank check and skipping out the door, he lays out a series of specific expectations related to your raise, including periodic progress reports.

Call it a quid pro quo. You boost your performance. He boosts some of your bucks, which, incidentally, come from other people’s money that he’s responsible for managing wisely. It may sound like, “Where’s the return on our investment?”

Is that “punishment”? Or responsible fiscal management on behalf of the shareholders?

Gorsuch a Time as This

Sunshine poured into the Rose Garden during yesterday’s public swearing-in ceremony of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. Puerile and predictable, liberal head implosions followed with the usual galactic vapidity amid much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

In case you missed the ceremony:

The stakes in the ‘battle of wills’ that led to this moment were high. Much higher, in fact, than filling the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia’s death last year. 

Mark it: If the Democratic filibuster had succeeded and the Gorsuch nomination derailed, it would’ve emboldened Democrats to launch an encore with the next high court pick. Successfully deployed once, a Democractic filibuster would’ve been subsequently deployed against every other Trump nominee to come down the pike. They would likewise be doomed to failure because Republicans would’ve signaled a willingness to throw in the towel when things get rough, effectively taking up permanent residence under a white flag.

In short, if Republicans had caved on Gorsuch and “changed the nominee,” they would’ve lost the whole Supreme Court smack. That’s why the nuclear option was the right move. Like Mitch McConnell or not, he got it right this time. The destiny of not just Gorsuch but every other Trump nominee to any federal bench was at stake.

Defeated on the Gorsuch vote, Senate Democrats are now where they should be – on the ropes and in disarray – instead of salivating over the next opportunity to stage an encore.

Indeed, one way to test the waters regarding the possible ramifications of adding a judicial conservative in the mold of Antonin Scalia to the high court is to watch the Leftista response to same.

They were – and are – Going. Ballistic. Like deeming the following “out of the mainstream” and “extreme”:

Continue reading “Gorsuch a Time as This”