In a series of unsolicited emails that began Wednesday, recipients like our County Commissioners, Bainbridge Island City Council Members, "BI Council Wannabes and our newly elected rep Tarra Simmons", Michael Pollock used race and his own experience growing up in feminist household with 3 sisters as the firm footing to influence the vote that Brenda Fantroy-Johnson be given the vacant North Ward City Council seat.
By Friday, the tactic had seemed to work.
In an email to City Council on Friday, co-finalist Jane Lindley decided to withdraw her application.
"I'm withdrawing my application to the North Ward Council Seat effective immediately.
Brenda Fantroy-Johnson has achieved a great thing for herself and for the City of Bainbridge Island.
I wish Brenda and the Council well.
Pollock was first seen using race to divide and conquer in the second week of a thwarted attempt to replace a newly chosen Planning Commissioner with the self appointment of Ashley Mathews. Mathews wrote the Council and Planning Commission telling them she deserved the role even though she had not applied, been interviewed or chosen.
When Pollock couldn't get his way, he brought up the issue of race as the urgent need to appoint Mathews over Blossom even though it broke with the process. It didn't work out. Blossom was ultimately approved to the Planning Commission. Mathews later applied for and was chosen as a Bainbridge Island Planning Commissioner in a full and transparent process.
Deputy Mayor Joe Deets reminded Pollock that he was one of two City Council Members that did not vote for Ashley Mathews just months before in the February 2020 City Council Appointment for Matt Tirman's seat. That appointment would have had Mathews working along side Pollock as a council member.
When reaching out to Jane Lindley for comment, she said:
"I decided to withdraw my application for many reasons. Council member Pollock's bullying email to County Commissioners, council, one planning commission person and our new rep Tarra Simmons yesterday made my decision a lot harder. There is no benefit to the community to give into bullying and I hate to set a precedent or reward bad behavior, but life is too short to put up with this craziness."
We have reached out to council members for their comment on the matter.
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