Dear Mayor and members of the Black Diamond City Council,
Our city was been through a lot in the last few years. Our elected officials and citizens are tired of the conflict and money that has been wasted due to the interference in our local city business and affairs by outsiders. Last November, the citizens of Black Diamond spoke loudly that they wanted this interference to come to an end. We reaffirmed our trust in Mayor Benson, and elected two new people to our City Council. We also rejected candidates supported by these two Bellevue outsiders. The election on February 13 to remove Pat Pepper from our Black Diamond City Council, by a margin of 66 percent, brings to an end this sad chapter in our city’s history.
Part of what allowed our city to fall under the control of these outsiders was that it wasn’t that difficult to take control of a majority of the seats in a five-person council. We need a positive future and a new period of civility and stability. Here is a suggestion for your to consider that will held ensure these goals, and to better represent the interests of all of our citizens.
The citizens of Black Diamond would be better protected from this type of outside interference by moving to a seven-person council. Our local citizens would have more representation, and it would be more difficult for any outside person to engage in this type of a political takeover.
In today’s political environment, and as cities grow, five-seat city councils are becoming increasingly uncommon. You might consider beginning a dialogue with the citizens about increasing the size of our city council by two members. The cost is almost nothing, as these are almost entirely volunteer positions, but the safeguards to our local citizens would be significant.
After having lived, worked and served in the City of Black Diamond for a very long time, including both serving as mayors in the past, we have no plans to run for, or hold any elected positions again in the future. The only interest here is the safety, security and protection of our community and citizens. As our city grows, it will eventually be required to adopt a seven-person council, but the time has come to take this action now so we do not repeat the mistakes of the last few years. More involvement by citizens would increase transparency and help protect us.
Howard Botts, former mayor, and Gomer Evans