Montesano City Council meeting postponed due to language barriers

There was supposed to a Montesano City Council Meeting last night instead it was cut short and will need to be rescheduled.

Councilwoman Marisa Salzer, who is hearing impaired, stopped the meeting after the flag ceremony and said she could not understand the sign language interpreter who was signing for the meeting.

“I’m not voting tonight. I cannot understand my interpreter. She’s not certified.”

City Attorney Dan Glenn then advised that if Salzer could not understand the interpreter that the meeting should be recessed until a later date.

Alice Akrish an interpreter for Universal Language Service Inc. said that she has worked in courts and many other situations as well as an interpreter for her parents who are both deaf from a very young age and has never had someone say they could not understand her.

“I have never had, in my lifetime, a deaf person not understand me.”

Akrish said that being qualified instead of certified means that the interpreter can be understood by the deaf person.

Akrish was also one of the interpreters at the previous council meeting and Akrish said Salzer never said she could not understand her then.

“That’s why I’m confused, because 2 weeks ago when I was interpreting she understood and didn’t say ‘Hey, stop interpreting I want the other interpretor.”

Salzer said that there was communication that was made that expressed her need for a certified interpreter.

The meeting was originally recessed to Thursday but after the meeting it was stated that Thursday would not work and they would look for another time to do it.

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