MOUNT VERNON – People came to share their opinions about the GOP presidential nominees but after 30 minutes together found that their local issues needed some discussion as well.
“We finished up our precinct meeting business quickly and then talked about getting together as just citizens of the city and going to the City Hall as a group,” said Richard Bowyer, a retired business owner and UW graduate.
Bowyer, a Romney supporter, has long been an advocate for local issues and regularly attends City Hall meetings, he said.
He said there needs to be more representation in government overall: he’d like to see a list of planned city projects mailed out with the utilities bill, with simple questions asking people to mark what they think is the most important when they send the check in.
“Citizens’ input is needed and sorely lacking on all levels of government. Once in office, the people don’t consult with their constituency,” Bowyer said.
Folks in Bowyer’s precinct caucus found that they all want to see the police more proactive with area gangs, the water supply system, and generally more aware with the growing problems around them. They felt they’d be more effective as a group going to City Hall because what they say will be on the record, which is important.
Bowyer spent the majority of his life in Seattle running his own packing materials business, then moved to Mount Vernon six years ago to retire. He and his wife said that there is a lack of neighborhood interaction here, and are disappointed with it, but this caucus was an excuse to get together.
“It introduces you to people who are your neighbors that you may not know. They’re four or five houses away and you may not know them,” Bowyer said. “In our group it was really a chance to meet all of them and find out we have some common concerns about various things.”
Bowyer isn’t sure whether the others in his precinct group will show up at City Hall, but believes that until pressure is brought by the citizens that elected officials will do what they want and not what the citizens need.