Cronyism in government defined | Letter

Jun 25, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

Most likely Sen. Marko Liias created the new position of “policy analyst” for the city of Mukilteo along with his good friend, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson. So then it should come as no surprise to anyone when the mayor said Liias is the most qualified for the position.

Fifteen others applied for the job, independent panels narrowed the field to the two most qualified and Liias was selected. One wonders if the panels knew that Liias could not fulfill the full-time job requirement as he is a state senator who is required to be in Olympia for more than 100 days a year.

Additionally, he is running a campaign for election to the senate. This makes it impossible for him to work full time for the city. Therefore, he is not qualified at all. Yet, his friend, the new mayor, hired him.

The mayor is now backtracking by trying to retrofit Liias’ job description and salary to fit his senate schedule. She has also mentioned hiring a consultant to do some of the work when Liias is in Olympia. This makes no sense at all.

To his credit, in the last legislative session, Liias secured funding for two key projects in Mukilteo. However, as a Mukilteo city employee and state senator, Liias can no longer advocate for Mukilteo, leaving Mukilteo without representation in the state senate.

Cronyism is defined as the practice of favoring one’s close friends, especially in political appointments.

Pat Kessler,

Shoreline

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