A series of unfortunate events | Letter

Dec 23, 2013

Editor, The Beacon:

I’m looking forward to observing the council appointment process on Jan. 13, because the series of events that has occurred thus far and the accusations from some electeds as to the motives, I find deplorable [“Council: Never mind, new member will be installed next year,” The Beacon, front page, Dec. 11].

Not only were the council rules broken on numerous occasions with the personal attacks allowed to prevail at recent council meetings, but the process we used back in 2008 for the last appointment, which everyone seems to have agreed to use for this one, was a violation of state law.

That’s because the “process” used in 2008 resulted in the council voting and narrowing the list of 10 candidates down to one in executive session and then voting in public to appoint the single candidate agreed to in executive session.

That was a violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and state law. Coincidentally, the council members making the most noise about a fair process and “that the process was not circumvented to appease other people’s agendas,” also seemed quite content violating state law back in 2008 (yes, they were aware of the concern in executive session but chose to ignore it because “that’s the way we’ve done it in the past”).

Despite the motion the council approved for the prior year’s budget to allocate $18,000 to have a city attorney present at all council meetings, the attorney wasn’t invited to that meeting.

You can see for yourself what happened and how the city attorney advised us to fix the violation by reviewing the revised council meeting minutes on the city’s website for Feb. 7, 2008 and Feb. 19, 2008.

It’ll also be especially interesting to see whether the process used to narrow down the 11 candidates who have applied for the open position will be vetted prior to Jan. 13.

Thus far, the actual voting process hasn’t been discussed by or disclosed to the council. Based on past experience, I have to wonder why.

Kevin Stoltz,

Almost Retired/Paroled Mukilteo City Councilmember

 

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