POLL: Should University Place Fly The American Flag In Front Of Town Center Before It Moves In?

University Place City Councilman Javier Figueroa is pushing for the flag to be flown in front of the building, and he says the costs should come from fund UP maintains for tenant improvements. Others on the dais say the city should wait.

The News Tribune's Christian Hill wrote a great story today about a flag controversy brewing in University Place.

Here's the gist: At a meeting earlier this month, City Councilman Javier Figuerora pushed for erecting an American flag in front of the (the library), as federal law requires one to be displayed near the headquarters of any public institution.

The problem is City Hall isn't in the Civic Building - and probably won't be until more developers sign onto the project, which would give the city enough money to move into its new headquarters. For now, City Hall remains in Windmill Village.

But Figueroa says the city should do it, and spend money out of a fund the city keeps for tenant improvements. He got a rough estimate of $4,000 to $5,000 in cost.

"It’s not like it’s a big-ticket item, but it’s an important one,” Figueroa, Vietnam veteran, told the newspaper.

But others on the dais — including Mayor Debbie Klosowski and Councilman Eric Choiniere — say it makes more sense to wait until UP officially moves into the Civic Building, which could be a few years from now.

Choiniere told the paper his dad is a Vietnam veteran, and even he recommended waiting until the city's move.

“It doesn’t make sense to have the poles moved while we’re still occupying (the current city hall),” Choiniere told the newspaper.

Patch wants to get the pulse of the University Place community on the issue. So we ask you - what should the city do? Take the poll that we've posted and feel free to discuss the issue in the comment section.

Ken Campbell October 15, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Let's see..residents are on the hook for $40 million for 25 years @ 5.5 % interest, the State just gave us over $5 million in LRF, and there was some millions in Federal grants, and there is close to a million on getting the police department into the civic building. This is supposed to be the grand gathering place, a focal point for community activities. We have art work, and a water feature. We have a public library..yet, we can't have a flag?? The American flag has been on the battle field, it has draped many coffins, it has been burned and stomped upon, it has been planted on the moon..surely, this is one project that could be moved forward with general funds and get it to a visible place of honor in our Town Center..perhaps before the Christmas tree lighting... One really should look at the Oct 3 council meeting on UPTV or online...
TPB, Esq. October 16, 2011 at 01:08 AM
I appreciate the sentiment, as a service member, but we don't need to spend the money until the Town Center is truly open. If Councilman Figuerora would like a military metaphor, as he served honorably, consider it holding off on uncasing the colors until the unit is truly stood up.
Christie Anderson October 16, 2011 at 01:37 AM
"....federal law requires one to be displayed near the headquarters of any public institution." Isn't the library a public institution? I do believe it is....so put up The Flag! As to eric choiniere's dad saying he wouldn't do it....who cares? This is a University Place issue, not one of a town of less than 300 people and where council meetings are held in a post office....which happens to have a flag, by the way, as it's a public institution. I watched that meeting and the behavior of choiniere was disgusting. For some reason whatever Councilman Figueroa says is challenged by choiniere &/or bellici. I'd bet that if he said the sun was shining those two would argue that it was night....and raining to boot!
even66 October 16, 2011 at 04:27 AM
Why shouldnt we fly a flag, would the only reason not to, be that it isnt an official city hall yet? Really? It is a public buliding and we do live in the US... Seems to me that the question should be, why isnt there one flying there already....
Citizen October 16, 2011 at 09:57 AM
I can't believe this is even a question that is asked. As Homer would say, DUH!!!! Put the dang flag up!!!
Ernie Lackman October 16, 2011 at 04:58 PM
The rantings of council member Choinere against flying the Flag at the civic center and library, after the idea was suggested by council member Figueroa was, to say the least, DISGUSTING! And, for Mayor Debbie Klosowski to question the expenditure of some 4 to 5 thousand dollars to install a new flag pole after having voted to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Town-Center developers, whose only accomplishment was to deplete the city treasury, was ludicrous. What council member Belleci reportedly told councilman Figueroa he could do is not worth repeating. Without having to obtain the opinion of some 3rd party in a remote village, I say "put up the new flag pole nos!
phil October 16, 2011 at 07:27 PM
EVERY building, public or private, should have an American flag waving above it. It seems that our symbol of freedom becomes more scarce each passing day.
James Rand October 16, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Chionreire arguing that "my dad who is a veteran said, 'it is a waste of money'", is absurd, as is any other argument that we should not have a US flag at Town Center. It should have been hoisted at the dedication of the building and any architect that did not give consideration to the placement of the flagpole at a building designed as a city hall is incompetent. We’ve got bronze ducks, a gas fire pit, an interactive water feature, but we can’t afford a flagpole. I am embarrassed to live in this town!
Dave Matzen October 17, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Let's see the city, the does not have the reasources to pay for a flag pole, maybe some "veterans" group ,like the AMVETS (not to put pressure on them), start a campaign to raise the $4,000. With the number of active and retired veterans and/or families in University Place, the funds could be collected in no time. Now the permit process may take a few months. And...while we are on the issues for flag poles, why don't we have one at the Chambers Bay Golf Course home of the US Opens? Oh wait, that is a while other issue.
Dave Matzen October 17, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Opps I forgot, I will even toss in the first $50 on behalf of my dad's 20+ years of military service, and a new flag.
Dan October 17, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Dave, this is a fantastic Eagle Scout opportunity. Just sayin'
James Rand October 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM
I am in with a donation as well and I know the good people of UP will come up with the money if need be, but come on... The City Council needs to step up for once and pay for this out of the city treasury. Melt the duck and sell it for scrap if need be but let's show a little respect for the US of A.
Ernie Lackman October 18, 2011 at 01:50 AM
As a veteran of WWII, who spent 2-1/2 years in the South Pacific and Luzon,P.I. theaters of action, I, too, would be willing to contribute monetarily to having the Flag flown at civic center as a gesture of patriotism and respect. Perhaps if enough of us pitch in we can accomplish this mission without bringing the City of UP to the brink of bankruptcy.
Christie Anderson October 18, 2011 at 04:32 AM
I think finishing Town(e) Center would be a great eagle Scout project! ;-)
Mike Venuto October 18, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Our flag is the symbol of our freedom and nation, and should always be displayed properly and with respect and with respect. As a combat veteran myself, as were my father, uncles, son, and grandfathers we all put our lives in harms way for God, country and the flag. The Iwo Jima Memorial, represents raising the flag and symbolizes the ultimate act of heroism. With all the money spent in the name of the city on the Town Center pinching pennies when it comes to the US flag being displayed is somewhat ironic.
Christie Anderson October 18, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Well said Mike!


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