The April 20 TCH editorial regarding transparency in local government misses the mark. Kennewick City Councilman John Trumbo is in no way leading an organic movement toward transparency in local government.
Actually, Mr. Trumbo, like the Lincoln, and now Benton County commissioners, has been approached by an out-of-town entity known as the Freedom Foundation. This foundation, which is funded by wealthy corporate donations, has a stated focus of trying to defund and abolish public sector unions. In fact, the only contract negotiations that Mr. Trumbo and his ilk want open to the public are negotiations between unions, their members, and the public entities with which they have labor agreements.
Why isn’t Mr. Trumbo and the Benton County commissioners hell-bent on opening negotiations between their public entities and the non-union management positions? Most county executives and city managers work under a contract which is bargained with these public councils, and not one of these public officials is calling for open negotiations with the councils and their paid managers. Where’s the transparency in that?
Why didn’t the editorial mention the Freedom Foundation, or mention that Mr. Trumbo doesn’t seem to care about negotiations between his city council and its management team?
Russell Shjerven, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 839, Kennewick