Winter's windy whiners

One of the reasons why I'm always waxing eloquent about the beauties of Sequim is to counteract all the whining I hear from the people who live here but wish they were somewhere else.

I've been hitting the hoorah-for-Sequim thing a little heavy recently, but it's in anticipation of the coming winter. Fall is in the air and on the leaves, which means that winter is certain to follow.

And that, my friends, brings out the whiners.

My most recent "Thank God I live in Sequim" anecdote comes from a recent return trip from Spokane where we babysat the grandkids. We had a wonderful visit and actually were looking forward to a weather-free return trip home. But, the huge ROAD CLOSED sign placed squarely in the middle of the freeway at Ritzville spoke otherwise.

A detour down U.S. Highway 395 to State Highway 26 across through Othello offered up a number of reasons why we are glad to reside in Sequim. Driving through a dust storm gives you a lot of grit if you didn't already have it. But then, driving through a blinding dust storm takes even more grit than brains.

We avoided the pile-up on Interstate 90 but still are shaking sand out of our shorts and I'm wondering why anyone would want to live between Ritzville and Moses Lake in the first place.

Just wondering

As I watch the facelift developing on the corner of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue, I wonder when Sequim ever will adopt a theme or direction of some sort that will bring our town that "inviting look" that separates the thriving towns from the also-rans.

When a building owner puts out the sizable capital that is necessary to give a building a new look, it would behoove the city to take advantage. Telling property owners later that they need to change their look is costly and unfair.

I certainly hope the big-box look isn't what we're after, or even the new Holiday Inn Express, for that matter.

Still interested?

I'm hoping that the newly appointed city manager is still Steve Burkett. Things change pretty quickly around here and it will be a couple of days before this copy will be printed - and who knows?

What is there about us that causes us to continually step in the mud? It just seems like something is always happening.

The city council, mayor, chamber of commerce, sheriff's department, just to name a few, have provided us with pause to ponder over the years. And now, landing a new city manager has proved to be less than routine.

But then, I guess city managers must enjoy the thrill of it all. Why else would they stay in the business? Makes me wonder how many of them played football without helmets or chased porkypines without gloves.

Can you imagine being responsible to a group of political figures who can fire you at any time for little or no probable cause?

Can you imagine trying to run a city in a responsible manner while at the same time being responsible to a committee of politicians?

Why would a person want to work for our city council that is made up of two separate factions with little or no inclination of working together?

The candidates running for office have openly criticized the existing council, letting the new city manager know what he will be dealing with. Yet still we had candidates interested.

And while I'm wondering, why would we be interested in candidates who were excused from their previous jobs? It seems like working with several opposing points of view is a fact of life for many jobs. And someone who can bring the parties together for the common good is the person for the job.

Ah, such is life. I think I'm best off watching the elk eat the freshly cut alfalfa or listening for the warning hoots of the container ships braving their way through the blinding fog in the strait.

Jim Follis is a retired school administrator, has published two books and currently writes three newspaper columns. Eating, drinking and making merry are his professed hobbies. Traveling, trekking and observing people follow not far behind.

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