Letters: Lots of Council talk

Mar 06, 2019

Support for council discussion

 

I was pleased to hear the City Council talking about changing the form of government for Mukilteo during its Feb. 19 discussion about the currently vacant city administrator position.

The city’s current mayor-council form of government has, as far as I know, been in place since the city’s incorporation in 1947.

Many things have changed in the past 72 years and I think now it is time to change the form of government to the more modern and less politically divisive council-manager form of government.

In my over 20 years of either working in city governments or reporting on them I have witnessed both forms of government in action and have learned the strengths and weaknesses of each.

For a city the size of Mukilteo, which can afford to hire an experienced professional city manager who is a member of the ICMA (International City/County Management Association), the council-manager form of government offers the best opportunity to have an efficiently run city without the parochial political partisanship that the mayor-council form not only allows but invites.

ICMA members are bound by a code of ethics which requires, among other things, that they:

#BULLETS DOWN#

#Demonstrate the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in order to earn the trust and respect of the public, city staff, and elected officials.

#Not use their position for personal gain or benefit

#Refrain from all political activities, especially regarding the election of city councilmembers.

#END#

This letter would be too long if I was to go into a detailed discussion about the differences between the two forms of government. For now, all I’ll say is those differences are significant.

My hope is the council will continue their Feb. 19 discussion to investigate those differences. I am confident if they do so they will decide, in time for the November election, to put before the voters a proposal to change to a council-manager form of government.

If you agree with me, or at least agree the council should discuss the issue, please reach out to all of our elected officials to urge them to start the discussion now to allow ample time to figure things out in time for the November election.

 

Glen Pickus

Mukilteo


Schmalz’s response to Liias column

 

I wanted to comment on the op-ed piece Sen. (Marko) Liias wrote last week in The Beacon.

I am baffled about his statement of “withered lines of communication.”

I am not sure who or what he was referencing, but I hope he was referring to his office’s lack of communication to the Mukilteo City Council. The Council was kept in dark regarding his pulling of funding for Japanese Gulch Creek Daylighting project, which was a council funding request priority to our state Legislators.

Instead, the Senator directed extra funding ($400,000) to the Peace Park project, which the council had already budgeted and funded with city funds and also with financial and in-kind donations from the public who wanted to be part of this important project. Both Sen. Liias and Mayor Gregerson never informed the City Council or the public of this change of funding.

The Peace Park project, at least from the majority of the council’s perspective, was to be a true “community project.” The Peace Park when finished, no doubt will be a beautiful place for reflection, prayer and place of tranquility, but politics unfortunately played role in this project.

I feel badly for those who put time and energy into this project only have it to be delayed and delayed. This should have never happened.

And Sen. Liias, instead of taking a swipe at those who “withered the lines of communication,” why not come to one of our City Council meetings and discuss your concrete proposals and solutions so we can all be on the same page.

 

Steve Schmalz

Mukilteo City Council

 

Issues with City Council

 

Editor’s Note: The Lighthouse Festival is not cancelled. No official decision has been made, and it appears the festival will take place, just in a different form/capacity than previous years. See our story on the front page.

 

I went to the City Council meeting March 4.

Both Mayor Gregerson and Sarah Kneller were absent. Councilmember Kneller has been absent from two of the three council meetings that I have attended this year.

Both the mayor and council are absent from most city events, which I wrote in a previous Letter to the Editor. Exceptions are Cook and Rohrbough.

Now my understanding is that the entire Lighthouse Festival will be cancelled. The festival is a casualty of a disengaged city government.

 

Peter Zieve

Mukilteo

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