Every blog site must have it’s annual top 10 list. Here is ours. These are listed in order based on the highest viewed articles on our site from 2016:
This article was published March 1st, and it generated sizeable interest by readers. This article also had over 7,900 likes by Facebook users, which is the highest count for any WTG article in 2016. Thurston County has been a reliable source for stories about the crazy ideas cooked up by the Thurston County Commissioners and their central planning staff. This policy is still considered a serious proposal by staff. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for the people who live in Thurston County), the recent 2016 elections rejected these silly concepts and schemes.
This article was published October 20th, a few weeks after the Washington State Supreme Court dumped one of the worst decisions they could have unleashed on the people of Washington State. As quoted in the article by the dissent “The majority’s decision…is unsupported by the plain language of the statute, precedent, or common sense.” In a clear surrender to wealthy, powerful special interests led by environmental extremists at Futurewise, a majority of the court decided to invent a framework to destroy the right of people to have access to private well water. This court decision is a blow to private property rights, rural living, and personal freedom. Over 3,900 people on Facebook liked this article.
Published July 12th, this article provided substantial source documents related to the multi-year legal battle between the Kingen family and the City of SeaTac about the Kingen commercial property that was effectively stolen from the Kingen family by SeaTac staff using some very unscrupulous and deceptive tactics including destroying or hiding public records. The judge even recommended sanctions against SeaTac legal staff. The jury agreed and awarded substantial damages to the Kingen family. This article led to multiple talk radio show appearances by both the author and the Kingen family. Eventually, the story was covered by the Seattle Times here. As of this time, the City is still trying to appeal and avoid paying the Kingen family.
Published March 30th, this article was just one in a series highlighting the perpetual incompetence of the Thurston County Commission. This article was proof that even the simplest of tasks can be botched by local government when they don’t believe anyone is watching. Now that the political makeup of the commission has been changed by voters, it is hoped that stories like this become less frequent or even non-existent. However, this article was written long before the election and this story about how to mismanage one building is epic by itself.
On May 11th this article was published, and it was never expected to generate high traffic. It was unclear whether the web traffic came from the residents of Yakima who were concerned about their new manager or if it was the continuing general interest in the ability of Thurston County government incompetence which drew the interest. Either way, Cliff Moore’s departure from Thurston County was celebrated and the residents of Yakima were warned.
The most recently written article on this list was from December 15th. This one highlights the depth of silliness and squandering of tax dollars that can only be produced by the collusion of the Washington State’s Legislative Ethics Board and the state Attorney General’s office. When they finally had the opportunity to harass the youngest legislator in the state for embedding Youtube videos on Facebook against the rules, they jumped at the chance. Yes, you pay for this priority of government. Average citizen’s respect for government can only plunge to new depths of disgust after reading this article.
This was a simple round-up of the primary election race for just one of the Thurston County Commissioner seats. It was a crowded race compared to most local commissioner campaigns, and many of the candidates were new to the voters.
This was the first article for We the Governed written on February 24th. It was mainly about a very aggressive, repressive, and hostile code enforcement ordinance called “Title 26” used to inflict expensive civil penalties on rural residents who did not conform properly. The ordinance was intended as a revenue generating device for the bureaucracy, and its passage helped motivate many people to elect new county commissioners in 2016.
An article written on April 11 about an infamous county commissioner who ended her political career on a low note – costing the citizens of Thurston County $200 million to satisfy her ego and aspirations. Mostly this is a story about incompetence and the people who personify that aspect of the political class. Sandra Romero will be remembered for the price she made everyone else pay, if nothing else.
Appropriately enough, this June 15th article is about Thurston County as well and highlights another genius innovation in bureaucratic tax policy.
So from the gopher tax to the crap tax and everything in between- We the Governed 2016 had stories that covered a range of government at its worst and occasionally not completely terrible. Of course, sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can rise, and the 2016 local elections were an indication of better times ahead in many places. However, government operates in a manner than ensures we will never run out of stories to write. Thank you for reading what we have written. Thank you for your comments, and thank you for sharing them with others. 2017 is going to be even better.
Our Constitution begins with the phrase “we the people.” It was the founder’s intent that government be created by the people, to serve the people. It wasn’t their intention for the people to serve the government. It was always intended that government which failed to serve the people should be “altered or abolished.” Until we return to the founder’s intent, we remain We the Governed…