16 hrs June 28, 2015 Sandy Robson
A February 5, 2014 Herald article reported:
“Mayor Gary Jensen received a 57 percent pay raise in 2008 to clean up the mess left by his predecessor, City Council members said. Now that Jensen is stepping down at the end of 2015, the mayor’s salary will come down, too.”
In the article, Council member Keith Olson said the Mayor was given a raise because: “He [Jensen] was going to have to take a lot of time from his private business, Sullivan Plumbing, in order to turn around and undo all the damage of the previous mayor.”
So, basically the city of Ferndale paid 57% more money to Mayor Jensen because supposedly he would have to take time from his private business to fix any potential problems left by the previous mayor. But then, Mayor Jensen went on to devote what seems to be a large amount of his time and efforts for multiple years, promoting the GPT project, even agreeing to let himself and the City of Ferndale be used in SSA Marine’s advertising for GPT.
In the Feb. 2014 article Mayor Jensen said he “still puts in 52 hours a week as mayor.” That number then likely included his time promoting GPT as Mayor because otherwise with all the time he spent on these GPT-related activities listed below, it seems unlikely that he could also put in 52 hours weekly.
Mayor Jensen has written a number of Op-Eds trying to garner public support for the GPT project. Jensen has even let SSA Marine’s PR consultants spoon-feed him at least one pro-GPT Op-Ed pre-written for him by those consultants (that was evidenced in public records).
Mayor Jensen was speaker # 1 at the Ferndale GPT EIS scoping hearing in November 2012 testifying there in support of GPT. He was the recipient of that #1 speaker slot courtesy of the dayworkers who SSA’s PR firms admittedly (reported in the Spokesman Review) hired to arrive early in the morning to hold spots in line for approximately the first 40 to 50 speakers.
Jensen traveled to Seattle for the Dec, 2012 GPT EIS scoping hearing held there so he could speak to media in support of GPT there.
Jensen signed onto the November 29, 2012 small city mayors’ GPT scoping comment supporting GPT project, submitted to agencies tasked with the EIS.
Helping to pave the way for the proposed GPT, Jensen was one of 7 people who signed a June 15, 2010 letter (orchestrated by Craig Cole) supporting GPT, in which essentially, those 7 people were lobbying/advising Washington Public Lands Commissioner, Peter Goldmark, to remove what the signers of that letter perceived to be inherent conflicts in the Draft Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Plan.
He has appeared in pro-GPT videos, did radio interviews in support of GPT, was featured in print ads and social media ads for GPT, and I’m sure I haven’t mentioned all he has done to promote the project.
One thing I don’t believe the mayor did in terms of GPT, is seek out experts or people from the opposition side of the GPT issue who could inform the city council and himself so that they would have information about GPT from someone other than Craig Cole who is SSA’s paid local consultant for GPT. Our group, Save Birch Bay requested to come give a presentation to the city council in 2013 and we were given an opportunity to do that.
While I imagine Gary Jensen is probably a decent person, I would not support his running for any public office after his actions as mayor, on behalf of SSA Marine and its GPT project.