Updated September 17, 2019
“Jerry Martens was asked by the Kittitas County Sentinel to share his thoughts about the creation of a two/way communication platform accessible to the citizens of Kittitas County. Following is his reply”
Click to READ ASSOCIATED POST HERE
Hello, my name is Jerry Martens.
Many of you may know me as a candidate and possible appointee for the Kittitas County Commissioner position #2 vacated by Gary Berndt. While I was not selected as Mr. Berndt’s replacement, I value the opportunity and experience in seeking the position.
The appointment would have completed Mr. Berndt’s term through the end of 2016 and would also have included filing for candidacy and running for the Commissioner position in the primary and general elections. I would like to thank those who supported me and want to make everyone aware that I did not file for the position and at this point will not be seeking the commissioner position.
This does not mean my interest in the position or the future of Kittitas County is any less; in fact my concern for this county continues to grow exponentially each month. I continue to see poor leadership, no vision, and blind reaction within the Commissioner offices.
The questions are how best to initiate:
- Needed Changes
- Responsiveness to the desires of the citizens of Kittitas County.
With these questions in mind, I will be working with a number of fellow citizens on an e-Media based forum that will allow for citizen input and communications geared toward holding our elected officials accountable. We will be highlighting actions taken on our behalf within KCTO government and the cause and effect of these actions on us as citizens, businesses and our community.
Articles and contributions will be put forth on differing topics so that a fair and complete discussion can be transparent. As citizens, we have the right to vote and support who and how best our future will unfold but in bringing this to a reality, we need to understand that we the citizen also must be involved.
It is not a “right” rather a “responsibility” for us to question our government.
The e-Media forums will discuss:
- Past decisions
- Why certain actions were taken
- How a decision or position has affected citizenry
- Feedback about what has or will be taking place
We are hopeful that Kittitas County citizens will actively and aggressively participate to be engaged in moving this process forward. The whole purpose is for a more transparent county government and how actions and decisions made have affected the county and if our elected officials and county employees are meeting the expectations and needs of our County.
As with all aspects of our lives, providing this extensive public service will have related costs and expenses to create and maintain the conversation including;
- e-Media, server and platform expenses
- Ongoing maintenance and oversight of the website, social platforms and SMS
- Content creation and publishing
- Original material
- Curated research
- Vetting and scrutinizing
- Someone to effectively manage, develop and oversee the many current and developing elements.
- We intend to provide compensation for individuals to attend and report on county meetings.
Our purpose will be to provide KITCO citizens with:
- A platform to voice concerns
- Ask questions
- Obtain insight as to what and why things are happening and the associated cost from differing perspectives.
In other words, trying to bring transparency to how our County is operating. This is a process that doesn’t seem to currently exist.
Recently, I have heard many make the comment of “WHY VOTE” as in many cases we are voting not so much for the person running as against the ideals of someone else running. Many question if anyone is representing their view points; I suggest asking this a different way:
“Are we clearly putting our view points out for representation to see and understand with a unified voice”.
It is not easy to be engaged with our busy elected officials and more often than not, few of us have the time or opportunity to make this happen. Hopefully this forum will provide for an easier means toward this end and if properly funded, someone to collect and verify information that will have our voices heard well after the election is completed.
I invite you to join with us and become involved in the conversations, discussions and issues. At a minimum, this forum will cover the upcoming County wide election process and include topics like:
- The proposed Upper County Port District.
- Recent purchases that our County Commissioners have put in place
- How these new expenses will look in the future,
- Comprehensive Plan updates that are ongoing and other pertinent and timely issues.
I ask and hope that you will join us in discussing the best ways for our County to embrace the future.
Cle Elum, Washington
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