Last week, there was a call for Mayor Leslie Schneider to resign. We believe this is necessary because we have observed our city leaders turning into a manipulative, deceptive and dysfunctional cabal of retaliatory politicians.
Rather than preside with compassion and wisdom, our mayor conspires to suppress minority opinion on the council and in the community, and initiates retaliation and persecution of activist citizens.
When faced with the opportunity for transparency, Schneider encourages secrecy over transparency, silencing over inclusion, arbitrary rules over due process, and cronyism over diversity and inclusiveness.
The council’s proposed motion to appoint the first black planning commissioner in the island’s history was refused adoption by our mayor. She instead appointed her former colleague and defeated candidate, Sarah Blossom, against the will of the citizenry.
Council member Kirsten Hytopoulos’ shockingly fragile statements that support for the black candidate was predicated on opposition to Blossom rather than the merits of the black candidate are unsubstantiated and deeply offensive.
In these worrisome times we need leaders who think big. Let’s ask, “What can our island, a bastion of technical innovation, progressive politics, and precious natural resources, do to contribute to the recovery of our society?” ..not, “How can we mirror attempts at authoritarian rule?”
Leadership that encourages retaliatory actions against candidates of color, whistleblowers and environmental activists must end. We call for Mayor Schneider’s immediate resignation.
Gretchen Wilson, Bainbridge Island