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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Full Retreat

Posted by on December 28 at 13:30 PM

The Seattle City Council’s annual retreat will be in Bremerton this year - an hour-long ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Technically, council “retreats” (which have been as far from council chambers as La Conner and as close as the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the first floor of city hall) are open to the public; as a practical matter, though, the farther away a meeting is, the harder it is for the public to attend. Most retreats are more comical than nefarious (last year, the council spent two days identifying its “core values” and participating in a mysterious exercise called “gracious space”), but that’s not the point, citizen activists say. Public meetings should be accessible to the public - and a conference center an hour and a half away doesn’t pass the test.

Incidentally, when asked by the Kitsap Sun why the council had chosen Bremerton, council spokeswoman Jackie O’Ryan had this this to say: “We get to take a ferry. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to a meeting on a boat?

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Why are they even allowed to do this? Didn't they do some new age 'trust' exercises or something last year? What a waste of money.

In Friendly Helpers camp, we were able to do all of our trust excercises in the gymnasium and we STILL had to go to fifth and sixth period.

At first glance I read that as the "Bertha Knight ladies room". An excellent place for a council meeting, I'm sure.

Funny thing: I considered applying for a job in the KC Executive office, and part of the admin specialist's job requirements is 'scheduling and planning of retreats as needed'. So had I applied and somehow gotten hired, planning these silly sorts of soirees for Ron Sims and friends would have been part of my daily routine.

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